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Bangladesh - October 14, 2023

Bangladesh affected by moderate hunger

Global Hunger Index 2023

Farhad Chowdhury: The world is prosaic in the state of hunger, the full moon is like burnt bread.’ This line of the poem ‘Hey Mahajivan’ written by Sukanta Bhattacharya is intertwined with Bengali life. Its evidence is in the Global Hunger Index. In this index, Bangladesh is at the level of a country affected by ‘moderate level’ of hunger. Although it is being said by the government, there has been a lot of development in the country in the last decade and a half. Currently, Bangladesh is on the highway of development. Poverty has come down to less than half this time.
This year, Bangladesh ranks 81 out of 125 countries in the global hunger index published on Thursday. And the score of Bangladesh is 19. That is, Bangladesh is currently a country affected by ‘moderate level’ of hunger. However, it is not clear whether Bangladesh has done better or worse than last year.
Earlier in 2022, Bangladesh was ranked 84th among 121 countries in terms of capacity to satisfy hunger. Last year, Bangladesh scored 19.6 out of 100 on the hunger index. Although there is some progress compared to last year, Bangladesh is in a worse condition than in 2021. In 2021, Bangladesh scored 19.1 on the hunger index. Bangladesh was ranked 76th out of 117 countries that year. As such, the position of Bangladesh is still worse than in 2021.
Meanwhile, the other two South Asian countries, India and Pakistan, are lagging behind Bangladesh in their ability to satisfy hunger. However, Sri Lanka and Nepal are in better condition than Bangladesh. These two countries have shown significant progress in the hunger index. Besides, Pakistan has also made progress in the hunger index. However, India has dropped 20 steps in the hunger index.
Incidentally, hunger levels in a country are determined by calculating the level of malnutrition, low weight for height of children under five, low height for age of children under five and infant mortality. These indicators are used to measure hunger levels at any global, regional or national level.
If someone scores zero on the World Hunger Index, then there is no hunger. And a score of 100 means that there is the highest level of hunger. In addition, the hunger index score of 0.1 to 9.9 is low hunger, 10 to 19.9 is moderate hunger, 20 to 34.9 is severe hunger, 35 to 49.9 is alarming, 50 ascore of or above is extremely worrisome.
According to the index makers, the latest hunger index is compared to the previous year as a base year (reference year). The base year of this report is 2015. That is, how much progress has been made in the hunger index compared to the 2015 index, has to be considered. Bangladesh’s position in 2015 is 96. Bangladesh was hit by ‘severe levels’ of hunger that year.
The analysis of index data shows that in 2000 Bangladesh’s score on the global hunger index was 33.8, in 2008 it decreased to 30.6 and in 2015 it was 26.2. During these three years, Bangladesh was suffering from severe hunger. According to this, Bangladesh has gradually improved but there has been no progress compared to 2021.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh is slowly making progress in all four sub-indices of the hunger index. Among them, Bangladesh scores 23 out of 6 in terms of malnutrition, 11 out of 11 in low weight according to height of children under five years old, 11 out of 2 in low height according to age of under five children and 2 out of 7 in infant mortality rate. That is, Bangladesh is in the worst condition in the malnutrition index and the best in the child mortality rate.
Sri Lanka and Nepal are above Bangladesh in the hunger index of Asian countries this year. Sri Lanka’s position is 60th with a score of 13.3. Then 69th Nepal with 15 score. The other two countries of South Asia, Pakistan and India, lag behind Bangladesh in their ability to satisfy hunger. The position of the two countries is 102 and 111 respectively. The two countries are on the list of countries affected by ‘severe hunger’.
According to this year’s Global Hunger Index, hunger levels have reached ‘alarming’ levels in at least 9 countries around the world, with scores between 35 and 49.9. These countries are Somalia, Burundi, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Yemen, Madagascar, People’s Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Niger.
On the other hand, the world’s least hungry countries are Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, China, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

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