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India Slips to 102nd Rank in Global Hunger Index

India has been categorized as a country with severe levels of hunger as per this year’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) slipping from 95th rank in 2010 to 102nd in 2019. Central African Republic is placed at the bottom of the index at the 117th rank.

Key Highlights of the Report
As per the annual reports, 47 out of the 117 countries surveyed and ranked are in ‘serious and alarming hunger levels’ and one in ‘critically alarming’. India’s slip in the ranking has largely to do with the higher levels of child undernourishment.

Neighboring countries like Nepal (73rd), Sri Lanka (66th), Bangladesh (88th), Myanmar (69th) and Pakistan (94th), although all in the ‘serious’ hunger category are better at feeding its citizens than India, according to this index. China (25th) has moved to a ‘low’ severity category and Sri Lanka is in the ‘moderate’ severity.

Only 9.6% of the total child population aged between 6-23 months in India are fed with a ‘minimum acceptable’ i.e. barely a handful of the babies are properly fed. More highlights include:

  • Child wasting rate in India stands at 20.8% which is highest for any country ranked under the index.
  • Child stunting rate is measured at 37.9%.
  • Improvements in certain sectors was witnessed such as the mortality rates i.e. both the infant and maternal mortality rate.

The GHI report also observed that despite the construction of new toilets all across under the Central Government’s Swachh Bharat Programme, open defecation is still practiced. This situation significantly contributes in deteriorating the health of the population and subsequently children’s growth and development as their ability to absorb nutrients is compromised.

About GHI
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool that measures and tracks hunger globally, by region, and by country.The GHI is calculated annually, and its results appear in a report issued in October each year.Created in 2006, the GHI was initially published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Welthungerhilfe. In 2007, the Irish NGO Concern Worldwide also became a co-publisher.

The GHI calculates the levels of hunger and under nutrition worldwide. The four indicators for the index are undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting (weight for age) and child mortality.

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