In the 2020 Global Hunger Index, India has been ranked 94th out of the 107 countries with sufficient data to calculate the 2020 GHI scores. With a score of 27.2, India has a level of hunger that is ‘serious’. The Global Hunger Index is a peer-reviewed annual report, jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. The aim of the GHI is to trigger action to reduce hunger around the world.
What is GHI? 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 (share of the population with insufficient caloric intake)
·child wasting (share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute under-nutrition)
·child stunting (share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic under-nutrition)
·child mortality (mortality rate of children under age five, partly reflecting the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).
Based on the values of the four indicators, the GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. Each country’s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming.
This year the GHI report addressed the following issues:
·Far too many individuals are suffering from hunger and under-nutrition: nearly 690 million people are undernourished; 144 million children suffer from stunting, a sign of chronic undernutrition; 47 million children suffer from wasting, a sign of acute undernutrition; and in 2018, and 5.3 million children died before their fifth birthdays, in many cases as a result of under-nutrition.
·Worldwide hunger is at a moderate level, according to the 2020 GHI. Underlying this average are major challenges in particular regions, countries, and communities.
·Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia have the highest hunger levels among world regions, with 2020 GHI scores of 27.8 and 26.0, respectively - both considered serious.
·According to 2020 GHI scores, 3 countries have alarming levels of hunger - Chad, Timor-Leste, and Madagascar.
·Hunger is also considered to be alarming in 8 countries - Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
·The world is not on track to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal - known as Zero Hunger - by 2030.
India rank at 94 is in the serious hunger category with experts blaming poor implementation processes and lack of effective monitoring in tackling malnutrition and poor performance by large states behind the low ranking. According to the report, 14% of India’s population is undernourished. It also showed the country recorded a 37.4% stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3%. The under-five mortality rate stood at 3.7%. Last year, India's rank was 102 out of 117 countries.
The neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan too are in the ‘serious’ category but ranked higher than India in this year's hunger index. While Bangladesh ranked 75th, Myanmar and Pakistan are in the 78th and 88th position.
Measures to prevent exacerbation of hunger because of the pandemic:
·Safeguard and promote access to nutritious, safe and affordable diets
·invest in improving maternal and child nutrition through pregnancy, infancy, and early childhood
·re-activate and scale-up services for the early detection and treatment of child wasting
·maintain the provision of nutritious and safe school meals for vulnerable children
·expand social protection to safeguard access to nutritious diets and essential service