India: Severe Malnutrition Despite Record Harvests

Millions of Indian children are suffering malnutrition.  Why?  Not because they are too many.  Reproductive health programs have long in been place, yet many remained in poverty.  It is corruption and mismanagement that is keeping the food away from their reach.


For years now, India has been producing more food than it needs.  Every year, large quantities simply rot in warehouses.  It is a simple fact that no Indian child needs to go hungry.  Yet millions of Indian children are suffering severe malnutrition.  It is an enduring problem Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a “national shame”.

It is estimated that one in four of the world’s malnourished children is in India. India has fallen in child development rankings, putting it behind poorer countries such as neighbouring Bangladesh or the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a new study by the Save the Children charity.

Yet this is hardly a new problem. India has been arguing over what to do about hunger and the poverty that underpins it for years – while its farms produce ever more food.  On paper there is already a multi-billion dollar network in place to look after malnourished children.  But too often, corruption and mismanagement mean it doesn’t work.

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