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Monday, April 22, 2024

High Time Asia Needs To Focus On Child Food Poverty

The UNICEF data covers children in the age group of 6-23 months of age. The point estimate for 2019-21 of babies from 6 to 11 months is 57.1 percent with a lower limit of 56.1 percent and an upper limit of 58 percent. These children are the worst sufferers, and their situation somewhat improves as they advance in age. The corresponding point estimate for babies 12 to 15 months of age was 35.8 percent with a lower limit of 34.7 percent and an upper limit of 36.9 percent

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India is among the worst countries in the world where children are facing severe child food poverty, the latest UNICEF data reveals. Severe child food poverty is reaching dire levels, 1 in 3 children under five live in it globally, but in 13 countries, the situation was worse with more than 2 in 5. India was one of 13 in 2021 where the level of child food poverty was above 40 percent. The point estimate was 40.3 percent during 2019-21, which was even worse than 37.9 percent of 2005-06, and only a little less than 42.4 percent during 2015-16, but remains unacceptably high exposing the falsity of the good performance claim of the Modi Government during the last eight years of rule. The lower limit of severe child food poverty in India during 2019-21 was 39.7 percent while the upper limit was 40.8 percent. For male children, the point estimate for 2019-21 was 39.7 percent with a lower limit of 39 percent and an upper limit of 40.5 percent. These are lower than the national average indicating the deep-rooted bias against the girl child, which is suffering the most. The point estimate for the girl child is 40.8 percent with a lower limit of 40 percent and an upper limit of 41.6 percent.

The UNICEF data covers children in the age group of 6-23 months of age. The point estimate for 2019-21 of babies from 6 to 11 months is 57.1 percent with a lower limit of 56.1 percent and an upper limit of 58 percent. These children are the worst sufferers, and their situation somewhat improves as they advance in age. The corresponding point estimate for babies 12 to 15 months of age was 35.8 percent with a lower limit of 34.7 percent and an upper limit of 36.9 percent. For babies 16-19 months, these figures are 30, 29, and 31.1 percent. For children between 20 to 23, these figures are 27.3, 26.3, and 28.4 percent. The UNICEF report titled ‘Child Food Poverty: A Nutrition Crisis in Early Childhood’ says that children in low- and lower-middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by severe food poverty. UNICEF executive director Catherine Russel says, “Fuelled by conflict climate change and the enduring secondary impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, a global food, and nutrition crisis is pushing already vulnerable children into unprecedented levels of food poverty and nutrition vulnerability.”

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According to the 2022 Global Report on Food Crises, 42 countries are experiencing high levels of food and nutrition insecurity and 15 of them are experiencing some of the worst impacts of the global crisis of food and nutrition. In Asia countries facing severe child poverty are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, State of Palestine, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam and Yemen. To end child poverty, UNICEF says, we must shape food systems to be more accountable for making nutritious food available and affordable to families with young children; leverage health systems to deliver essential nutrition services to young children and their mothers, prioritising those most at risk; design protection systems that are responsive to the food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable children and families; and strengthen nutrition governance – nationally and globally – to eliminate child food poverty, including in fragile and humanitarian settings.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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