The Global Hunger Index (GHI), updated on Thursday, October 14, placed India on the 101st rank out of the 116 countries evaluated for the ranking. India had earlier placed 94th on last year’s ranking which was assessed based on 107 countries. With the addition of new countries to the list, India has fallen behind neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan in terms of hunger and malnutrition.
Among those placing lower than India on the list include Papua New Guinea with rank 102, Afghanistan with rank 103, Central African Republic with rank 114, and Yemen and Somalia with ranks 115 and 116 respectively. On the other hand, a total of 18 countries, including China, Kuwait and Brazil, shared the top position with a GHI score of less than five, the analysis reported.
The Global Hunger Index records hunger and malnutrition across countries. Based on the analysis, each country is measured on the basis of four indicators: undernourishment, child wasting — children under the age of five who have significantly lower weight for their height, child stunting — children below the age of five who have an extremely lower height for their age, and child mortality.
All these parameters are used to assess acute and chronic undernourishment and undernutrition and a score is provided to the country on the basis of this examination.
India’s GHI score has declined from 38.8 in 2000 to 28.8 -27.5 during 2012 and 2021. Meanwhile, India has recorded the highest rate of child wasting in the world, the percentage of wasting among children in the country rising from 17.1 per cent between 1998-2002 to 17.3 per cent between 2016-2020.
The reason for an increase in the rate of child wasting is accounted to the severe ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions. The analysis report, prepared in a collaboration between Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and the German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe has deemed India’s current level of hunger ‘alarming.’
Recognising the derailed status of the worldwide fight against hunger, the GHI report estimates that 47 countries will fail to lower their levels of hunger by 2030. The cause of this has been attributed to the threat to food security, fueled by worsening conflicts, weather extremes due to global climate change and the economic and health situations arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic.