NEW DELHI: On an average an Indian spends 3.5% of their daily income for a plate of food compared to 0.6% by a New Yorker, according to the “Cost of a Plate of Food” report released by the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday.
The report said that a plate of food is most expensive in South Sudan where people on average would have to spend 186% of their daily salary on basic ingredients. In the list that features 36 countries across the globe, India stands at the 28th position.
The report brought to light how countries in sub-Saharan Africa feature heavily in the list with 17 nations from this region occupying thetop 20 slot. “The region’s high dependency on food imports leaves it vulnerable to global economic conditions, while high use of informal labour means many workers are vulnerable to sudden losses of income,” it said. The report said that such a difference brings into sharp focus the huge inequalities at play between people living in the developing countries and others in more prosperous parts of the world.
Now the Covid-19 pandemic has added another layer to the challenges faced by the most vulnerable groups, through increased unemployment, loss of remittances and weak economies that prevent countries offsetting the worst effects of the pandemic, the report highlighted.
It has recommended that with more investment in the short term to support people from the fallout of Covid-19, and greater emphasis on building sustainable food systems in the long term as a foundation for access to affordable, nutritious food, the issues of inequalities can be addressed.