Nutritional Situation Alarming in Sindh, Pakistan
In July 2003, major flooding in Pakistan led to further deterioration of already-difficult living conditions for certain populations. Since then, assessments by Action Against Hunger have shown alarmingly high rates of malnutrition.
In July 2003, the provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh experienced very heavy flooding. Seventy-five percent of the villages of Badin (Sindh), the most significantly affected district, were hit by the catastrophe, with many families losing some or all of their cattle and harvest, and thus being forced to take out considerable loans in order to make up for the loss of their productive capital. Their homes were damaged or destroyed, and a number of fields have become unsuitable for cultivation. A rapid assessment of the nutritional state of the population last October revealed an alarming situation, with a global malnutrition rate of 19.7%.
Action Against Hunger’s concerns were recently confirmed with a survey conducted two weeks ago, involving a greater number of villages in the district of Badin. The anthropometric nutritional survey, with a representative sample of 900 children, demonstrated a global malnutrition rate of 17.3% for children between 6 months and 5 years old, and 23% for children between 6 and 29 months old.
According to the same survey, eating habits have changed since the flooding,
with most families having to reduce the quality and frequency of their meals (1
meal per day compared to 2 or 3 before the floods). Some of the land is still
flooded, and the people estimate that less than 40% of the fields will produce a
harvest in March. Finally, the populations' debt level remains very high,
preventing them from achieving a lasting recovery from the crisis.
According to the same survey, eating habits have changed since the flooding, with most families having to reduce the quality and frequency of their meals (1 meal per day compared to 2 or 3 before the floods). Some of the land is still flooded, and the people estimate that less than 40% of the fields will produce a harvest in March. Finally, the populations’ debt level remains very high, preventing them from achieving a lasting recovery from the crisis.
Action Against Hunger wishes to alert the international community to the risk of continued deterioration of the nutritional situation, if no rapid and adequate response is given.
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925 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition around the world.
Malnutrition affects 32.5% of children in developing countries.
1 out of every 6 infants are born with low birth weight due to undernutrition among pregnant women in developing countries.
1 out of every 3 people in developing countries are affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Hunger is number one on the list of the world's top 10 health risks. It kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.