Activist countries

Global Hunger Index: India’s ranking slips to 107th out of 121 countries

India ranked 107th out of 121 countries in the 2022 Global Hunger Index with a child wasting rate of 19.3%, the highest in the world.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a comprehensive tool for measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional and national levels.

With a score of 29.1, the level of hunger in India was described as “serious”.

In 2021, GHI had ranked India 101st out of 116 countries. In 2020, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries.

Last year, the Center criticized the GHI report, saying the index’s methodology was unscientific, “devoid of reality and facts on the ground, and suffered from serious methodological problems”.

For this year, Afghanistan is the only Asian country behind India, with a rank of 109.

Neighboring countries – Pakistan (99), Bangladesh (84), Nepal (81) and Sri Lanka (64) all fared better than India.

In 2021, India ranked 101 out of 116 countries while in 2020, the country was placed at 94th position.

South Asia, the region with the highest level of hunger in the world, has the highest rate of child stunting and by far the highest rate of child wasting in the world, according to the report.

“India’s child wasting rate, at 19.3%, is the highest of any country in the world and pushes up the region’s average due to India’s large population,” he said. he declared.

India, Pakistan and Afghanistan each have child stunting rates between 35 and 38%, with Afghanistan’s rate being the highest in the region.

The prevalence of undernourishment increased in India from 14.6% in 2018-2020 to 16.3% in 2019-2021. This translates to 224.3 million people in India undernourished out of a total of 828 million people in the world.

Child wasting, which is a strong predictor of under-five mortality, also worsened, from 15.1% in 2012-2016 to 19.3% in 2017-21.

India, however, noted an improvement in two parameters of child stunting from 38.7% in 2012-2016 to 35.5% in 2017-2021, and infant mortality from 4.6% in 2014 to 3.3% in 2020.

The GHI said stunting disparities between districts were particularly pronounced in India.

“The example of India demonstrates the importance of considering the subnational context when designing programs and policies to target child stunting. Researchers investigated the factors that contributed to a decline in stunting in four Indian states between 2006 and 2016: Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Odisha and Tamil Nadu,” he said.

The report states that researchers found that stunting decreased primarily in response to improved coverage of health and nutrition interventions, household conditions (such as socioeconomic status and food security) and maternal factors (such as maternal health and education).

“While improving household conditions was the most important factor for each of the four states, the second most important factor varies by state. As the authors conclude, this interstate variability points to the need for contextualized policy and programmatic initiatives to help focus efforts in areas that need the most attention for continued decline in stunting,” he said.

The GHI said the world is facing a serious setback in efforts to end hunger with conflict, the climate crisis and the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by war in Ukraine – being the main drivers from hunger.

The report warns that the situation is set to deteriorate further as global crises overlap.

“The possible solutions and the scale of the investments required are known and quantified. The problem lies rather in the implementation of the policies and the lack of political will in the world,” he said.

Activists and politicians have hit out at the government for India’s ranking. Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said the government must take responsibility for this era of darkness into which India has been brought in 8.5 years.

“India’s dangerous and stark danger on the Global Hunger Index since 2014. Modi’s government is dire for India. Low food stocks barely above minimum buffer and rising prices. The government must take responsibility for this era of darkness that India has been brought to in 8.5 years. Enough PR, manipulation and lies,” Yechury tweeted.

Congress Leader P Chidambaram said: “When will the Honorable Prime Minister address real issues like child malnutrition, hunger, stunting and wasting? 22.4 million people in India are considered undernourished.”

“Our score has worsened since 2014 during the 8 years of Modi government, 16.3% of all Indians are undernourished meaning they are not getting enough food,” he said. said in another tweet.

“19.3% of children are wasted, 35.5% of children are stunted. Hindutva, imposing Hindi and spreading hate is not the antidote to hunger,” the former union minister tweeted. .