The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 has ranked India 101st out of 116 countries. In 2020, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries. As per the 2021 rankings, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have fared better than India.
The 2021 report, prepared by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, said the level of hunger in India is ‘alarming’.
INDIA’S GHI SCORE
India’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) score has fallen from 38.8 in 2000 to somewhere in the range of 27.5 to 28.8 between 2012 and 2021.
GHI scores are calculated on four parameters — undernourishment, child wasting (percentage of children below five years of age who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition), child stunting (percentage of children below five years of age who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition) and child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).
The child wasting rate in India has risen from 17.1 per cent between 1998 and 2002 to 17.3 per cent between 2016 and 2020, as per the report.
“People have been severely hit by Covid-19 and pandemic-related restrictions in India, the country with the highest child wasting rate worldwide,” the report said.
However, India has shown improvement in other indicators such as child mortality, prevalence of child stunting and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food, the report said.
HOW HAVE OTHER COUNTRIES FARED?
India’s neighbouring countries, including Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92), have also been put in the ‘alarming’ hunger category. But they have all fared better than India when it comes to hunger indicators, as per the report.
At the top of the GHI table are eighteen countries, including China, Brazil and Kuwait, with a GHI score of less than five, the GHI website noted on Thursday.
GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST HUNGER
For the world as a whole, the fight against hunger is dangerously off track, according to the GHI report. Based on current projections, the world — and 47 countries in particular — will be unable to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030.
Conflict, climate change and the pandemic have worsened the food security situation across the globe, according to the 2021 report.
“Inequality — between regions, countries, districts, and communities — is pervasive and, [if] left unchecked, will keep the world from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) mandate to “leave no one behind,” the report said.
The report said it is difficult to be optimistic in 2021 because the forces driving hunger are overpowering good intentions and lofty goals.
(With inputs from PTI)