Sri Lanka ranked 64 out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2022 with its child-wasting rate at 13.6 per cent, being the least in South Asia.
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
With a score of 29.1, the level of hunger in India has been labelled “serious”. In Asia, Afghanistan with a rank of 109 is the only country behind India.
Neighbouring countries – India ( 107), Pakistan (99), Bangladesh (84), and Nepal (81) have all worse than Sri Lanka.
South Asia, the region with the world’s highest hunger level, has the highest child stunting rate and by far the highest child wasting rate in the world, the report said.
“India’s child wasting rate, at 19.3 per cent, is the highest of any country in the world and drives up the region’s average owing to India’s large population,” it said.
India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan each have child stunting rates between 35 and 38 per cent, with Afghanistan’s rate being the highest in the region.
The report warned that the situation is expected to deteriorate further as global crises overlap.
“Possible solutions and the scale of investment required are known and quantified. Rather, the problem lies in policy implementation and the lack of political will in the world,” it said.