NEW DELHI: The annual Global Hunger Index (GHI) report released by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, ranks India 94 out of 107 countries. This ranking is even lower than the neighboring countries of Pakistan (88) and Bangladesh (75). The Global Hunger Index is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality. GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best possible score and 100 is the worst. India’s GHI score is 27.2.
India has the worst level of child stunting and child wasting, which reflects acute and chronic undernutrition. Though child stunting in the country has improved from 54 per cent to 35 per cent and mortality rates have fallen to 3.5 per cent, there has been no improvement in child wasting in the last two decades. The situation of child wasting has worsened from 15.1 per cent in 2010-14 to 17.3 per cent in 2015-19.
According to the report, nearly 690 million people are undernourished globally. It warns that the COVID-19 pandemic could have affected the progress made on reducing hunger and poverty and the totality of its effect will become visible soon.
The report focused on the threat to the human, animal, and environmental health posed by the food system currently in practice. It reveals that multiple countries have higher hunger levels now than in 2012. It predicts that approximately 37 countries are bound to fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030 as a commitment to Sustainable Development Goals dictates.
Osman Dar, Chatham House, said, “The 2020 GHI findings highlight the food insecurity challenges facing low-income countries as they battle multiple crises.”