by Tanya Thomas on  October 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM General Health News
 On the Anti-Hunger Scorecard, Brazil and China Top Global Rates: ActionAid
Brazil topped an anti-hunger scorecard on Friday followed by China where 58 million people have more to eat but India earned low marks in a new ActionAid index.

The study, released on World Food Day, scores the efforts by 50 governments to fight hunger, with calls for more action with more than one billion people in the world already going hungry.

"Some of the poorest countries in the world are making striking progress on reducing numbers of hungry people, while some wealthier countries are lagging behind," the Johannesburg-based group said.

It praised President Lula da Silva for Brazil's 73 percent drop in child malnutrition through food banks, community kitchens and support for small farmers and land reform.

"Brazil tops our league table, showing what can be achieved when the state has both resources and political will to tackle hunger," the report said.

Less than nine percent of China's population now go hungry with 58 million people no longer undernourished, edging the Asian giant into second place on the developing state table.

The ranking of African states Ghana and Malawi in third and fifth place showed the fight against hunger did not depend on wealth, the group said.

ActionAid said 30 million more people in India, listed at number 22 after countries like Ethiopia and Lesotho, had slipped into the hungry category since the mid-1990s.

"Hunger exists not because there is not enough food in India, but because people cannot access it," the report said.

Rich nations drew criticism for reneging on commitments to finance a stronger fight against hunger.

Greece, Portugal, Italy, the United States and New Zealand are named as the worst offenders in reducing official aid to agriculture.

Bottom of the developed nation scorecard is New Zealand, with a score of seven out of 100, followed by the United States and Japan which were all given an "E" grade.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, with nine points, is the lowest on the developing state list.

ActionAid called on world leaders to fight hunger by supporting small farmers, protect rights to food, and tackle climate change.

"It's the role of the state and not the level of wealth, that determines progress on hunger," said Anne Jellema, ActionAid policy director.

Source: AFP

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