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Global Hunger Index: India slips to 101st position; behind Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal

New Delhi, 14 October

India has slipped to 101st rank in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, up from 94th in 2020 and behind its neighbors Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Eighteen countries, including China, Brazil and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores less than five, the Global Hunger Index website said on Thursday.

The report, jointly prepared by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organization Welt Hunger Hilfe, described hunger levels in India as “alarming”.

In 2020, India was ranked 94 out of 107 countries. Now it has come down to 101st place with 116 countries.

India’s GHI score has also dropped from 38.8 in 2000 to 28.8 – 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.

The GHI score is calculated on four indicators- undernutrition; Child wastage (the share of children under the age of five who are wasted i.e. who are underweight for their height, indicating acute malnutrition); Child stunting (children under five who are short for their age, indicating chronic malnutrition) and child mortality (mortality among children under five).

According to the report, the share of wasting among children in India increased from 17.1 percent between 1998-2002 to 17.3 percent between 2016-2020.

“People have been badly hit by Covid-19 and the pandemic restrictions in India, the country with the highest child wastage rate in the world,” said the report.

Neighboring countries such as Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the ‘dangerous’ hunger category, but have performed better in feeding their citizens than India, according to the report.

However, India has shown improvement in other indicators such as under-5 mortality, the prevalence of stunting among children and the prevalence of undernutrition due to inadequate food, the report said.

According to reports, the fight against hunger has been dangerously derailed. Based on current GHI projections, the entire world, and 47 countries in particular, will fail to achieve low levels of hunger by 2030.

Food security is under attack on multiple fronts, it said, adding that worsening conflict, weather extremes linked to global climate change and the economic and health challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic are all fueling hunger.

The report states, “The disparity—between regions, countries, districts and communities—is widespread and (if left unchecked), it could lead the world to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mandate to “leave no one behind.” will prevent receiving orders.

Furthermore, the report said that it is difficult to be optimistic in 2021 as hunger forces now dominate good intentions and lofty goals.

It said the most powerful and virulent of these forces are conflict, climate change, and Covid-19—the three C’s that threaten to erode any progress made against hunger in recent years. PTI

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