Sunday, April 22, 2012
The Economic Times, April 22, 2012, 03.50PM India Standard Time
NEW DELHI: Developing nations, including India, lag on meeting targets to provide food and nutrition to their citizens, and child and maternal mortality rates are "unacceptably high", according to a joint study by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
"The developing world's progress is seriously lagging on global targets related to food and nutrition, with rates of child and maternal mortality still unacceptably high," it said.
Recent spike in international food prices have stalled progress across several of Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), it said.
"High and volatile food prices do not bode well for attainment of many MGDs, as they erode consumer purchasing power and prevent millions of people from escaping poverty and hunger, besides having long-term adverse impacts on health and education," it added.
Though there was progress on accessing safe drinking water and to some extent extreme poverty reduction, progress on reducing child and maternal mortality was off the track, the report said.
It added that there should be focus on policies that boost access to food markets, reduces food price volatility and induces productivity gains.
"In terms of policy responses, short-term measures should aim at mitigating the immediate adverse impact on the poor and vulnerable," it said.
In India, the Integrated Child Development Scheme aimed at reducing malnutrition in infants has been success as one in every five children has reached an acceptable healthy weight over the past seven years in 100 focus districts, which were particularly badly off, the report added.