On the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021, India trails its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Islamabad, Dhaka, and Kathmandu are ranked 92, 76, and 76, respectively, out of 116 countries, while New Delhi is ranked 101.
Welt Hunger Hilfe publishes the GHI scale almost every year to map hunger around the world. A low score (low hunger) earns a country a higher ranking and indicates better performance. The goal is to ensure that the world achieves “Zero Hunger by 2030,” one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
In a report prepared jointly by the Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, 18 countries shared the top spot, including China, Brazil, and Kuwait. These three had a GHI score of less than five, according to the Global Hunger Index website, which tracks hunger and malnutrition.
Last year, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries. Between 2012 and 2021, India’s GHI score fell from 38.8 in 2000 to a range of 28.8 – 27.5.
The GHI is calculated using four indicators:
1) Undernourishment (due to insufficient food availability), 2) Child Wasting (due to acute undernutrition), 3) Child Stunting (due to chronic undernutrition), and 4) Child Mortality (which reflects both inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environment).
According to the report, the rate of wasting among children in India increased from 17.1 per cent between 1998 and 2002 to 17.3 per cent between 2016 and 2020.
“People have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and pandemic-related restrictions in India, the country with the highest child wasting rate in the world,” according to the report.
Despite improvements in indicators such as under-5 mortality rate, the prevalence of stunting among children, and the prevalence of undernourishment due to insufficient food, the report described the level of hunger as “alarming.”