Vietnam continues to improve anti-hunger performance

By Dang Khoa   October 15, 2020 | 08:15 pm PT
Vietnam continues to improve anti-hunger performance
Students having lunch at an elementary school in Ha Tinh Province in central Vietnam, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Hung.
Vietnam's position on the 2020 Global Hunger Index, 61st among 107 economies, showcases consistent improvement over the last two decades.

The index, released Monday by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organization Welthungerhilfe, gives Vietnam a score of 13.6 out of 100. This is classified as 'moderate' on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) severity scale.

The report measured 107 countries and territories to compare the levels of hunger between countries and regions.

The higher a country's GHI score, the worse off it is. A score of 0 would indicate zero hunger in the country. The score was calculated based on four indicators, undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality.

Vietnam has made substantial improvements in the global hunger ranking over the past two decades.

Data collected since late 1990s shows that Vietnam's proportion of undernourished in the population dropped from 19.8 percent to 6.4 percent, wasting in children slipped from 9 percent to 5.8 percent while the nation's child stunting rate has been cut from 42.9 percent to 23.8 percent between 2002 and 2019.

The GHI report notes that Vietnam successfully reduced the under-five mortality rate from 3 percent in 2000 to 2.1 percent in 2018.

The Vietnamese government launched a nation-wide Zero Hunger program in 2018 with the goal of lowering malnutrition rates and stunted growth through improved nutrition and sustainable food production.

Over all, the country managed to lower the severity and score of hunger levels from 'serious' at 26.3 points in 2000 down to 'moderate' with 16.5 points in 2012. Last year’s index saw Vietnam earn a score of 15.3, finishing 62nd among 117 economies.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam has a higher rank than the Philippines (69th), Indonesia (70th), Cambodia (76th), Myanmar (78th) and Timor-Leste (106th) while trailing Thailand (48th) and Malaysia (59th).

The report did not include Singapore due to its small population as well as Brunei and Laos for lack of information.

This year’s index saw a total of 17 economies, including China, share the first place for dropping hunger levels down to a 'low' level.

Chad bottomed this year ranking with 44.7 points, an 'alarming' level according to GHI severity scale.

The 2020 Global Hunger Index also notes that hunger has gradually declined since 2000 and that worldwide hunger is at a moderate level.

However, it also says the situation is "progressing too slowly or even worsening" and projects a total of 37 countries "will fail to achieve even low hunger by 2030."

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