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India’s Rank Dips to 101 in Global Hunger Index

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In the recently released Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021, India stood at 101st position of 116 countries. The annual report jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe saw India slip from its 2020 position of 94th.

About the Global Hunger Index

GHI is published every year since 2006 in the month of October. The 2021 edition of the index marks its 16th edition. Its aim is to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels.
The GHI is calculated on the basis of four indicators:
Undernourishment: Share of the population with insufficient caloric intake.
Child Wasting: Share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
Child Stunting: Share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.
Child Mortality: The mortality rate of children under the age of five.
Based on the values of the four indicators, the GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. Each country’s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming.
The Undernourishment data for the purpose of preparing the index is provided by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, while the child mortality data is sourced from the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME). Child wasting and stunting data is drawn from the joint database of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, among others.

India’s Scenario of Hunger as per the report

India’s GHI score has decreased from a 2000 GHI score of 38.8 points – considered alarming – to a 2021 GHI score of 27.5 – considered serious. Since 2000, India has made substantial progress in eradicating hunger from the country through various interventions. However, there are still areas of concern, particularly regarding child nutrition.
The proportion of undernourished in the population and the under-five child mortality rate are now at relatively low levels. While child stunting has seen a significant decrease – from 54.2% in 1998-1999 to 34.7% in 2016-2018 – it is still considered very high. At 17.3%, India has the highest child wasting rate of all countries covered in the GHI. This rate is slightly higher than it was in 1998-1999, when it was 17.1%.
According to the Index, only 15 countries fare worse than India. India was also behind most of the neighbouring countries. Pakistan was placed at 92, Nepal and Bangladesh at 76 and Sri Lanka at 65.

Global Scenario of Hunger

The report has revealed that the fight against hunger is dangerously off track. Based on current projections, the world as a whole – and 47 countries in particular – will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030.
One of the reasons for this include lack of food security on multiple fronts. The report has taken into consideration that worsening conflict, weather extremes associated with global climate change, and the economic and health challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic are all driving hunger. If the world has to conquer hunger across the globe, the governments with initiative from corporates as well as NGOs will have to take drastic steps to ensure equity in the availability of nutrition to every individual in the world.