More than 30% of the population of Tajikistan suffer from hunger, while the percentages are between 20% and 30% in Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste, said a report by Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB). The report also examined “poverty gaps” and a “quintile measure” of income distribution and said India has a relatively large poverty gap of 11 per cent and other countries with poverty gaps above 10 per cent include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nepal, Timor-Leste, and Uzbekistan.
Poverty gaps are measured as the distance from $1.25 of the average income of persons living on less than $1.25 a day multiplied by the percentage of the population below the $1.25-a-day poverty line. For example, if 20 per cent of the population is below the $1.25- a-day line and the average income of these persons is $0.80, the poverty gap would be (1.25 minus 0.8) times 20 per cent, that is 9 per cent. The smaller the poverty gap, the easier it will be for countries to bring people above the $1.25-a-day threshold, it said.
Percentages for the PRC and Indonesia are 9% and 17% respectively, according to “The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2009″ compiled by ADB. The report used the term hunger to refer to people who are “undernourished” according to the minimum level of dietary requirements as defined by the FAO. Seven economies — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Myanmar, Solomon Islands, and Vietnam — have at least halved the proportion of their population suffering from hunger.
Seven other economies have rates of 5 per cent or below. On the other hand, four other economies — Pakistan, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, and Uzbekistan — have either rising or unchanged rates, according to the report. The hunger indicators are based on standards that have been devised by FAO, UNICEF, and WHO. While countries attempt to use the same standards, comparability is compromised by unavailability of regular data in many countries, said the report and added that statistical techniques are typically used to extend data collected from household surveys to the full population.