India has slipped to the 107th position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) in 2022, down from the 101st position in 2021. The GHI, jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, comprehensively measures and tracks hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. Of the 121 countries on the GHI, India is ranked behind its neighbours Nepal (81), Pakistan (99), Sri Lanka (64), and Bangladesh (84).
The GHI, which lists countries by ‘severity’, has given India a score of 29.1, which falls in the ‘serious’ category of hunger level.
The list, which ranks Yemen in the lowest position at 121, has 17 collective top-ranking nations — the differences in their severity scoring is minimal. China and Kuwait are the Asian countries that are ranked at the top of the list, which is dominated by European nations including Croatia, Estonia, and Montenegro.
The GHI score is calculated on four indicators — undernourishment; child wasting (the share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five), reported The Indian Express.
According to the methodology, a score less than 9.9 is considered ‘low’, 10-19.9 is ‘moderate’, 20-34.9 is ‘serious’, 35-49.9 is ‘alarming’, and above 50 is ‘extremely alarming’.
India has been recording decreasing GHI scores over the years. In 2000, it recorded an ‘alarming’ score of 38.8, which reduced to 28.2 by 2014. The country has started recording higher scores since then.
While India has been consistently recording lower values for the four indicators, it started going up in 2014 for undernourishment and the prevalence of wasting in children. The proportion of undernourishment in the population went from 14.8 in 2014 to 16.3 in 2022, and the prevalence of wasting in children under five years jumped from 15.1 in 2014 to 19.3 in 2022.
India also witnessed an improvement in the other two indicators. Stunning in children under five has reduced from 38.7 in 2014 to 35.5 in 2022, and under-five mortality reduced from 4.6 in 2014 to 3.3 in 2022.