On October 16, 2019, Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019 jointly prepared by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe was released. India was ranked 102 out of 117 countries with the GHI score of 30.3, down from its 2018 position of 95. The level of hunger in India is termed as “serious” in the Index.
i. GHI indicators: The 4 GHI indicators are undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality.
ii. Top 17: The top 17 countries with 2019 GHI scores of less than 5 were not assigned individual ranks, but collectively ranked 1–17. They are Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Romania, Slovak Republic, Turkey, Ukraine and Uruguay.
iii. Data accumulation: Data on the proportion of undernourished was taken for the years 2016–2018; data on child stunting and wasting was for the period 2014–2018 and data on child mortality was for 2017.
iv. The countries like Bahrain, Bhutan, Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Libya, Moldova, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Somalia, South Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Tajikistan were not surveyed because of lack of data.
v. The progress made by the countries is too slow to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) 2– Zero Hunger by 2030.
Bottom 5 countries with GHI Score:
|117||Central African Republic||53.6|
About India’s position:
i. The share of wasting among children under 5 years rose from 16.5% in the 2008-2012 period to 20.8% in 2014-2018. It is the highest for any country in this report.
ii. Only 9.6% of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a minimum acceptable diet.
iii. India has shown improvement in other indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate which stood at 3.9%, prevalence of stunting among children under 5 years (at 37.9%) and prevalence of undernourishment due to inadequate food (at 14.5%).
iv. Inspite of central government’s Swachh Bharat programme, open defecation is still being practised.
Neighbouring countries Nepal (73), Sri Lanka (66), Bangladesh (88), Myanmar (69) and Pakistan (94) were also in the ‘serious’ hunger category, but better than India. China (25) moved to a ‘low’ severity category and Sri Lanka was in the ‘moderate’ severity category.
About GHI 2019:
The 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI) indicates that the level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide falls on the cusp of the moderate and serious categories, at a value of 20.0. This value reflects a decline in the global GHI score in each period examined since 2000, when the global GHI score was 29.0 and fell into the serious category.
Measurement of hunger severity:
|Extremely alarming||≥ 50.0|