Despite India's growing economy and steady improvements in development indicators, the country is listed at 134 out of 187 according to leading poverty-reduction indicators. The United Nations Development Program reports that nearly 42 percent of India's population (almost 500 million) live on less than $1.25 per day while about 48 percent of children under age five suffer from stunting—a well-established child health indicator for chronic malnutrition. In addition, human trafficking remains a major concern throughout the country while natural and man-made disasters continue to affect India every year.
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|Population:||1,205,073,612 (July 2012 est.)|
|Size:||1,269,219 sq mi; 1/3 size of United States|
|People Served:||1,065,050 (2012 est.)|
Catholic Relief Services began in India in 1946 to assist the local Church in Bombay to provide food to people affected by the war. During the next several years, child feeding programs and assistance to families in Calcutta continued, supported by Mother Teresa. By 1957, CRS was supporting 72 dioceses and 900 schools and health clinics with feeding programs. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, CRS continued to provide U.S. government food support to its local partners to implement education, health, agriculture and emergency programs. While CRS' roots began with emergency food aid distributions, today's programming goes beyond relief to address more fundamental issues of social justice, inequity in access to resources and empowerment of marginalized groups.
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