World Bank optimistic

THE NUMBER of hungry people in South Asia -- who make up 49 per cent of the population -- can be cut by 50 per cent to 281 million, according to the World Bank. This can be achieved through far-reaching reforms backed by policies aimed at improving basic health and education facilities.

The latest data provided by the bank show there are still nearly one billion hungry and malnourished people in the developing world, which includes 200 million children suffering from protein deficiencies.