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India drops to 101 from 94, in Global Hunger Index, trailing Pakistan and Nepal

NEW DELHI: India has dropped to 101st position out of 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021, down from 94th position in 2020, and is now behind Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

India was positioned 94th out of 107 countries in 2020. With 116 countries participating, it has dropped to 101st position. India’s GHI score has likewise slowed, dropping from 38.8 in 2000 to a range of 28.8 to 27.5 between 2012 and 2021.

On Thursday, the website of the Global Hunger Index, which measures hunger and malnutrition, announced that eighteen countries, including China, Brazil, and Kuwait, shared the top rank with a GHI score of less than five.

The level of hunger in India, according to the report prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe is “alarming.” 

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Undernourishment, child wasting (the share of children under the age of five who are wasted, i.e. 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 are the four indicators that make up the GHI score (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

“People have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and pandemic-related restrictions, In India, the country with the highest child wasting rate in the world,” the report said

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

The report also suggests that neighboring countries such as Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71), and Pakistan (92) are also in the ‘alarming’ hunger category, but have done a better job of feeding their citizens than India.

Other measures, such as the under-5 mortality rate, the frequency of stunting among children, and the prevalence of undernourishment due to insufficient food, have improved in India, the report added.

The fight against hunger, according to the report, is dangerously off track. According to current GHI predictions, by 2030, the globe as a whole – and 47 nations in particular – will have failed to attain a low level of hunger.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Friday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over India’s poor ranking in GHI.

Sibal shared a tweet regarding the claims of the government on working on the issues pertaining to poverty, hunger, and also on making the country a global power.

“Congratulations Modi ji for eradicating: 1) poverty 2) hunger 3) making India a global power 4) for our digital economy 5) …………… so much more. Global Hunger Index: 2020: India ranked 94, 2021: India ranks 101. Behind Bangladesh, Pakistan & Nepal,” he tweeted.

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