India has reached almost the bottom of the world hunger index, being ranked 94 among 107 countries behind Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia among others on the Global Hunger Index. Only 13 out of 107 countries, including Rwanda, Afghanistan, Liberia and Chad have fared worse than India.
In 2019, India was ranked 102 out of 117 countries, while in 2018, the country was ranked 103 among 119 countries.
The Global Hunger Index 2020 report released on Friday night has been published jointly by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. “The world has a moderate level of hunger, but in 31 countries, including India, hunger is still serious, and an additional nine countries are provisionally categorised as serious,” the report said.
The 2020 report aims to measure and track hunger at the global, regional and country levels. In its latest report, the Global Hunger Index puts worldwide hunger at a ‘moderate’ level while warning that nearly 690 million people across the world are undernourished.
With India scoring 27.2 out of 50, the 2020 Global Hunger Index describes hunger in India as “serious”.
While a score of less than 9.9 signifies “low” hunger, 10-19.9 represents “moderate” levels of hunger, 20-34.9 points to “serious” hunger, 35-39.9 signifies “alarming” and over 50 “extremely alarming” levels of hunger.
Interestingly, India’s score is an improvement, compared to 38.9 in 2000, 37.5 in 2006, and 29.3 in 2012.
The latest report, however, points to the high child stunting rate in South Asia, which it says has also improved since 2000. “Data from 1991 through 2014 for Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan showed that stunting is concentrated among children from households facing multiple forms of deprivation, including poor dietary diversity, low levels of maternal education, and household poverty,” the report said.
“Prevention of prematurity and low birth weight is identified as a key factor with the potential to reduce under-five mortality in India through actions such as better antenatal care, education, and nutrition as well as reductions in anaemia and oral tobacco use,” the Global Hunger Index 2020 report adds.
According to its website, the Global Hunger Index scores are calculated each year to make a reasonable assessment of the global fight in allaying hunger. Indicators such as child wasting, undernourishment, child stunting, and child mortality form the basis of this annual peer-reviewed index.