Dec 30, 2019, 5:42 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83614217
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Child mortality from hunger on rise in Pakistan

Islamabad, Dec 30, IRNA -- Despite the fact that Pakistan ranked 94 on the Global Hunger Index, child mortality due to malnutrition is on rise in the country and only in the current year hunger claimed lives of 800 children.

According to a Global Hunger Index 2019 report 20.3 percent of Pakistan’s population is undernourished on which local media expressed serious concerns.

The index is based on four indicators: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality.

The prevalence of wasting and stunting in children less than five years fell to 7.1 percent and 37.6 percent respectively. The mortality rate of under-five-year olds also decreased to 7.5 percent in 2019.

According Pakistani media in year 2019, 820 children died from hunger in Thar area of southern Sindh province.

About 150-250 children went to hospitals in Sindh in one day and one-fifth of them suffered from malnutrition.

According to Pakistan National Drought Monitoring Center, severe drought is prevailing in most parts of the Sindh province.

The drought situation in Sindh and Balochistan is rapidly developing into one of the worst disasters in Pakistan.

Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) conducted a detailed needs assessment from 1-13 April 2019 to identify high risk and priority areas in Sindh and Balochistan.

Owing to low precipitation, water table is going down and resulting in drying up of water sources and makes it hard for community to get water for humans and animals.

It also affects the sanitation and hygiene in the communities due to lack of water. This has caused the widespread malnutrition reported among women and children.

Last year, a UN study found that only 4 percent of Pakistani children received a “minimally acceptable diet”. Another report published by the planning ministry stated that Pakistan loses $7.6bn — that is 3 percent of the total GDP — each year due to malnutrition.

In 2015, Pakistan took the pledge to becoming a ‘zero-hunger’ country by 2030, as prescribed in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals but it seems Pakistan has to go a long way in this regards.  

Experts have already stressed upon the government to adopt a concrete policy to overcome the challenge of hunger as soon as possible.

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