Why is India at 94 out of 104 on the Global Hunger Index?

India Oct 23, 2020

GHI is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. For each country, 4 indicators are taken into consideration. This kind of data is found by data collection efforts by various UN and other multilateral agencies.

  1. Undernourishment : Which reflects inadequate food availability. Data provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
  2. Child Wasting : Which reflects acute undernutrition. Data by Joint database of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank
  3. Child Stunting : Which reflects chronic undernutrition. Data provided by the same sources as Child Wasting.
  4. Child Mortality : Calculated by the mortality rate of children under the age of five. Data provided by United Nations Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME).

India ranks 94th out of the 107 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2020 GHI scores. A score of 27.2 shows that the level of hunger is quite critical. The situation has worsened in the 2015-19 period, when the prevalence of child wasting was 17.3%, in comparison to 2010-14, when it was quite lesser at 15.1%. India fares worst in child wasting (low weight for height, reflecting acute undernutrition) and child stunting (low height for age, reflecting chronic undernutrition), which together make up a third of the total score.

This highlights how the Indian Government should expand access to maternal and child health care, as well as education on healthy diets and child feeding practices. Also, food should not be priced based just on weight and volume but by nutrient value as well.

Out of the total 107 countries, only 13 countries fare worse than India like Rwanda, Nigeria, Liberia.

Africa, South of the Sahara and South Asia have the highest hunger and undernutrition levels among world regions, with 2020 GHI scores of 27.8 and 26.0, respectively, both considered serious.

This article has been written by Riya Rajayyan for The Paradigm

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