India ranks at 107 out of 121 in Global Hunger Index 2022

New Delhi: On the 2022 Global Hunger Index, India came at 107 out of 121 countries evaluated. The overall level of hunger in India has been rated as “severe,” with a score of 29.1. India was ranked 94th out of 107 examined nations in 2020 and 101st out of 116 in the GHI 2021.

According to the GHI, which tracks and measures hunger around the world, malnutrition among children under five is quite common in India.

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Food Security Indicators and the Fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) were utilised in the report’s analysis of India. It was noted that India’s child wasting (low weight-for-height) rate, at 19.3%, is the highest in the world. India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are among the worst-performing nations, with 35.5% of children under the age of five being stunted (having low height for age).

As a result, India is no longer on schedule to make the advancements required to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of “Zero Hunger” (Goal 2) by 2030.

Although the nations that border India do not fall under the category of “low hunger,” Pakistan (26.1), Nepal (19.1), Bangladesh (19.6), and Sri Lanka (13.6) have achieved a considerably higher ranking than India. China, on the other hand, has continued to be classified as having “low hunger” for the third week in a row due to an overall score below 5.

Talking to Business Standard, Basanta Kumar Kar, Chief Adviser-cum-Mentor, The Coalition For Food and Nutrition Security, said, “The government should focus on wasting and low birth weight babies where death knocks on the door 24X7. Along with this, strategic planning is needed to take actions in order to tackle deficiencies and malnutrition among young girls and women in order to address wasting and stunting among babies.”

He said that India has a long history of producing foods that are high in nutrition, and that with study and funding, the government can give the populace the nutrition and staple foods they require for a healthy lifestyle.

Anjali Bharadwaj, activist and expert on food security, said, “There is a huge crisis in the country today, especially for the people working in the informal sector. Unemployment is at an all time high and inflation is not going down. Prices of fuel, essential commodities are rising continuously. This is impacting people, especially those who are daily wagers who do not have deep pockets and savings. So, what is clear is that basic nutrition and food security have taken a very big blow.”

She emphasised that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) and the Public Distribution System (PDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) have proven to be the lifelines for those who are unable to put food on the table.

She argued that it is now imperative that the government take into account extending the PDS’s benefits to people without ration cards who were excluded from the programme due to a lack of required documentation, a delay in the census, or a quota but who are, in many ways, the poorest of the poor and are currently experiencing a severe hunger crisis.

The Global Hunger Index is a yearly report that Concern Worldwide, a global humanitarian organisation, and Welthungerlife, a German private assistance organisation, jointly publish. GHI is a technique created to fully assess and monitor hunger on a global, regional, and national scale.

GHI attempts to evaluate the successes and failures of countries around the world in battling hunger. Undernourishment, Child Wasting, Child Stunting, and Child Mortality are the four issues that GHI examines.

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