NEW DELHI — India has ranked 102nd among 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI). In 2018, India had ranked 55 among 77 nations listed in the GHI and 95th rank in 2010.
India lags behind the South Asian countries like Pakistan (94), Bangladesh (88) and Sri Lanka (66), in the list of severe hunger level declared by the Global Hunger Index (GHI) on Wednesday.
The last in the list is the Central African Republic with severest problems of hunger.
The Global Hunger Index calculates a country’s level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide, based on the four indicators, which are undernourishment, Child stunting, child wasting (weight for age) and child mortality.
According to report, India’s ‘child wasting rate’ (low weight for height) is extremely high at 20.8 per cent — the highest wasting rate of any country, says the report.
Child stunting rate in India, 37.9 per cent, is also categorised as “very high” in terms of its public health significance. In India, just 9.6 per cent of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a minimum acceptable diet, report says.
The report prepared by Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide also states that despite the government’s claim of India becoming open-defecation free it is being practiced in the country which further deteriorates the children’s as well as the population’s health.
“Even with new latrine construction, however, open defecation is still practiced. This situation jeopardises the population’s health and consequently, children’s growth and development as their ability to absorb nutrients are compromised,” the report states.
Lauding neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, the report says they have made significant advances in child nutrition, and their experiences are instructive.