India’s ranking on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 dropped to 101 from 94 last year. Neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have, however, surged ahead in the scores.
Read further for details.
The Global Hunger Index records hunger and malnutrition levels across the globe. This year, it also revealed that 18 countries, including China, Brazil, and Kuwait, share first place with a GHI score of less than five. Concern Worldwide, an Irish relief organization, and Welt Hunger Hilfe, a German organization, collaborated on the research. The report described the amount of hunger in India as “alarming”.
GHI Scores: 2020 v/s 2021
The GHI report in 2021 examined data for 135 nations. There was enough data to compute GHI scores for 116 nations in 2021 and rank them. In comparison, the 2020 report ranked 107 countries. Due to a lack of data, individual scores and rankings for 19 countries were not possible to calculate.
India stood at 94th place out of 107 countries in 2020. However, the nation has now plummeted to 101st out of 116 countries. India’s GHI score has fallen as well. It has dropped from 38.8 in 2000 to a range of 28.8 to 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.
Where Does India Stand?
The four indicators used to calculate the GHI score are undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality rate. Of these indicators, child wasting refers to the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition. Child stunting indicates children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.
The research report highlights both India’s failings and improvements. Some indices, such as the under-5 mortality rate, the incidence of stunting among children, and the prevalence of undernourishment due to insufficient food, have improved. However, food security is under attack on numerous fronts in the country, according to the report.
Worsening warfare, weather extremes connected to global climate change, and the economic and health issues of the COVID-19 pandemic are all contributing to famine, according to the research.
Govt Response to GHI Evaluation
The Ministry of Women and Child Development described India’s rank as “shocking”, terming the methodology used as “unscientific.” According to the Ministry, India’s ranking has fallen as a result of the FAO’s assessment of the proportion of the population that is undernourished. Assessing undernourishment has been shown to be “devoid of ground realities and facts and suffers from major methodological flaws”, the ministry added.