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27 Oct 2017
Hunger in Malaysia on the Decline

Hunger in MalaysiaMalaysia has shown remarkable economic progress over the past several decades, with poverty falling from 49.3 percent in 1970 to 23 percent in 1989 and 1.7 percent in 2012. One of the key aspects of the New Economic Policy adopted by Malaysia was creating a “Pro-Poor” policy. According to the World Bank, “the NEP contributed to poverty reduction and helped provide opportunities to poor households.”

However, Malaysia’s Poverty Line Income differs from the standard $1 USD per day (purchasing power parity) poverty line. When converting to international standards, it results in Malaysia having a higher poverty rate.

There has never been a problem of chronic hunger in Malaysia. Many nutrition programs have been incorporated into the rural development programs and have proved successful. According to the World Health Organization, consumption of fewer than 1,960 calories a day is a mark of food poverty. A great indicator of successful eradication of hunger in Malaysia lies in the fact that its daily per capita intake of calories has been consistently above the standard mark. The average was 2,969 in 1999.

The government introduced the Applied Food and Nutrition Programme in 1972 to improve nutrition and alleviate hunger in Malaysia. It aimed to increase the production of nutritious foods and promote supplementary feeding of pregnant and lactating mothers as well as infants and school-going children.

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