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Income Poverty and Hunger in Asia: The Role of Information S. Chatterjee, B. Prakash and S. Tabor.

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Presentation on theme: "Income Poverty and Hunger in Asia: The Role of Information S. Chatterjee, B. Prakash and S. Tabor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Income Poverty and Hunger in Asia: The Role of Information S. Chatterjee, B. Prakash and S. Tabor

2 Introduction Poverty and hunger –Income poverty associated with calorie intake; hunger associated with nutrition in addition to calories Asia’s overall record in reducing poverty is good –Agricultural growth played major role

3 Introduction (Cont’d) The general picture hides crucial details –Poverty reduction and nutritional intake not uniform –Averages conceal –Food distribution –Gender, Caste, Ethnicity and Hunger –Hidden Hunger –Policy implications

4 Poverty and Food Availability in Asia- Pacific Major reduction in income poverty by $1 a day measure Average food availability and macro- nutrient consumption have increased significantly in general


6 Per Capita Food Availability Trend

7 Calorie Consumption Trends

8 Intra-regional Variations Poverty reduction not uniform (Number of Poor Table) Food availability and nutrient intake increases also not uniform –Several countries fared badly in food availability and nutrition South Asia

9 What Averages Conceal Urban-rural divide –In income poverty estimates (Table 4) –Likely also in calorie and nutrient consumption Near poor –Population between $1-$2 a day (Table 4) Geographical pockets of food insecurity –Chronic or periodic deficits owing to climate –Aggravated by absence of communications –Data deficiencies

10 The Distribution of Food Aggregate food availability hides distribution issues and food availability of poor Sudden scarcities can cause food prices to shoot up, making food unaffordable by poor Need for reliable and timely information of food prices and stocks Public distribution must target poor better

11 Gender, Caste, Ethnicity and Hunger Gender deprivations in Asia-Pacific –2/3 rd of Asia-Pacific’s income poor are female –Deprivations in education and health Within-household distribution of food –Usually skewed against females Caste and ethnic discriminations Differences not reflected in national statistics

12 Hidden Hunger Hunger, the broad definition –Calorie as well as other essential nutrients for health, education and productivity –1.5 billion people in Asia-Pacific suffer from nutrition deficiency (3/4 th of nutritionally deficient in world) –Significant number of above poor (by income) also suffer hidden hunger

13 Hidden Hunger (Cont’d) Critical nutrition deficiencies –Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) 60% pregnant women, 50% women in reproductive age, 40% pre-school children Bangladesh study – 2% loss of GDP –Iodine deficiency Main cause of preventable mental retardation Annually over 13 million Asian births affected –Vitamin A deficiency Impaired vision and weakened immunity Affects 25% of child population in Asia

14 Scatter Diagram: Poverty Incidence and Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children Under 5

15 Hidden Hunger (Cont’d) Slow progress in reducing hidden hunger –Income poverty and nutrition deficiency indicated e.g. by child anemia and underweight children often not correlated (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand) –Stagnation in underweight children situation in South Asia and increase in Central Asia and South Pacific

16 Policy Implications Role of accurate information in curbing hunger –Information on price and distribution of food; not merely average per-capita availabilities (e.g. case of India) –Disaggregation of information to cover rural-urban; unreported areas; gender and other deprived groups –Hidden hunger issues go beyond food availabilities alone and need reporting –Literacy, diets and public awareness

17 Policy Implications (Cont’d) Food distribution –Better targeting of public food distribution Food fortification –Regulations, incentives and education New tool-kits –Interventions combining income increases with: better food supply, potable water,maternal education, access to maternal and child health care Role of ministries other than agriculture –Public works, education, health

18 Thank You

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