India ranks 63rd on global hunger index

While India has shown minor improvement in the global index on hunger, the high proportion of malnourished children still haunts the country


Trithesh Nandan | October 14, 2013

India has moved two spots up on the global hunger index (GHI) released on Monday worldwide compared to last year’s ranking. The new ranking may cheer Indian policymakers but the problem of a huge chunk of children below the age group of five being malnourished persists. 

"India and Timor Leste have the highest prevalence of underweight children under five more (which is) than 40 percent in both countries," according to the GHI 2013 report released by international think-tank International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Currently, in its eighth edition, the think tank releases the GHI reports annually.

The study blames social inequality and the low nutritional, educational, and social status of women as factors that contribute to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children below the age of five.

Among 78 countries that were studied, India stood at 63 with a score of 21.3. However, the country still remains in the orange category tagged ‘alarming’ level of hunger as per the study. India had scored 22.9 in 2012 and ranked on the sixty-fifth position. The GHI score is calculated based on three counts: the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the mortality rate of children below the age group five.

However, India doesn’t figure in the improved category list. “In terms of absolute progress, the top ten countries in terms of improvements in GHI scores since 1990 were Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Thailand, and Vietnam,” the report reveals.

"Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam saw the largest improvements among Asian countries with decreases in their scores ranging between 15 and 23 points," the study shows. South Asia has the highest regional GHI score, followed by Africa south of the Sahara while Burundi, Eritrea and Comoros have the highest levels of hunger.

The study notes that poor people are worst affected from natural and man-made disasters. In addition, most of the countries (including India) in the fourth quadrant are perennially vulnerable to floods and droughts.

"Most countries where the hunger situation is already 'alarming' or 'extremely alarming' are vulnerable to the negative effects of extreme weather events, climate change, population pressure, conflicts and economic crises," the study shows.

The study suggests that the traditional separation of relief and development efforts is not working.

"Adopting a resilience lens is challenging.  We need to build consensus on what it means and on that basis adopt programs and policies that bridge the relief and development sectors," says IFPRI research fellow Derek Headey.



Other News

Harnessing the demographic capital: how effective are skilling programmes?

Probing data concerning increased job creation and the decline in unemployment has been holding the attention of economists and been subject of discussions in several think tanks in the preceding months. The NITI Aayog reports that 3.53 million new jobs were created between September 2017 and February 2018

It`s time to Unlock now, with economic focus

With Lockdown 4 ending Sunday, the home ministry has issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones. The guidelines, issued based on extensive consultations held with states and UTs, will be effective from June 1 till June 30. The first phase of reo

Small kitchen gardens turn saviours for Gujarat tribal families

When the whole world is fighting COVID-19, food and nutrition security has become a major issue. The pandemic has aggravated the existing food crisis in India, especially in rural and tribal regions. There has been less availability of fresh foods in most parts of the country, and the tribal community has

India will set example of post-Covid-19 economic revival: Modi

India is determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including

3,543 ‘Shramik Special’ trains transport 48 lakh people in 26 days

Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker

How Jeevan Raths have helped 52,000 migrants in Maharashtra

Before the novel coronavirus hit it, Mumbai about 10-12 lakh labourers from elsewhere had made it their home. The figure for the state of Maharashtra was another 18-20 lakh. As the pandemic spread and the Maximum City emerged as the worst-hit place in India, all economic activities came to an end, and with


Current Issue


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter