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Rank is below Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan

India falls to 107 among 121 countries in Global Hunger Index

Report describes scenario as 'serious', India ranks below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99)

Our Web Desk Published 15.10.22, 11:06 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Shutterstock

India ranks 107 out of 121 countries on the Global Hunger Index in which it fares worse than all countries in South Asia barring war-torn Afghanistan.

The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, termed the level of hunger in India "serious", multiple news agencies and media outlets have reported.

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India also ranks below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99). Afghanistan (109) is the only country in South Asia that performs worse than India on the index.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels, reports the hindu.com. GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators - undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting and child mortality. The GHI score is calculated on a 100-point scale reflecting the severity of hunger, where zero is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.

Congress MP P Chidambaram, citing the report, said our score has worsened since 2014 in the 8 years of the Narendra Modi-led government.

"When will the Hon'ble PM address real issues like malnutrition, hunger, and stunting and wasting among children?" he asked on Twitter.

China is among the countries collectively ranked between 1 and 17 having a score of less than five.

India’s child wasting rate (low weight for height), at 19.3%, is worse than the levels recorded in 2014 (15.1%) and even 2000 (17.15%), and is the highest for any country in the world and drives up the region’s average owing to India’s large population.

Prevalence of undernourishment, which is a measure of the proportion of the population facing chronic deficiency of dietary energy intake, has also risen in the country from 14.6% in 2018-2020 to 16.3% in 2019-2021. This translates into 224.3 million people in India considered undernourished out of the total 828 million people undernourished globally.

But India has shown improvement in the other two indicators _ child stunting has declined from 38.7% to 35.5% between 2014 and 2022 and child mortality has also dropped from 4.6% to 3.3% in the same comparative period.

On the whole, India has shown a slight worsening with its GHI score increasing from 28.2 in 2014 to 29.1 in 2022. Though the GHI is an annual report, the rankings are not comparable across different years. The GHI score for 2022 can only be compared with scores for 2000, 2007 and 2014.

Globally, progress against hunger has largely stagnated in recent years. The 2022 GHI score for the world is considered “moderate”, but 18.2 in 2022 is only a slight improvement from 19.1 in 2014. This is due to overlapping crises such as conflict, climate change, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Ukraine war, which has increased global food, fuel, and fertiliser prices and is expected to “worsen hunger in 2023 and beyond.”

There are 44 countries that currently have “serious” or “alarming” hunger levels and “without a major shift, neither the world as a whole nor approximately 46 countries are projected to achieve even low hunger as measured by the GHI by 2030,” notes the report.

Opposition blames Modi govt

Activists and politicians have hit out at the government for India's ranking. Sitaram Yechury, Secretary-General of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said the government must take responsibility for this era of darkness India has been brought to in 8.5 years.

"Dangerous, sharp slide of India on global hunger index since 2014. Modi govt is disastrous for India. Low food stocks barely over minimum buffer plus rising prices. Government must take responsibility for this era of darkness India has been brought to in 8.5 years. Enough of PR, spin & lies," Yechury tweeted.

Congress leader P Chidambaram also criticised the Modi government. "Our score has worsened since 2014 in the 8 years of the Modi government 16.3 per cent of all Indians are undernourished, meaning they do not get enough food," he said in another tweet.

"19.3 per cent of children are wasted, 35.5 per cent of children are stunted Hindutva, imposing Hindi and spreading Hate are not the antidote to Hunger," the former union minister tweeted.

With PTI reports

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