India has slipped to the 107th position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022 of 121 countries, from its 2021 position of 101st and is behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
Seventeen countries, including China, Turkey, and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI score of less than five, the website of the Global Hunger Index that tracks hunger and malnutrition said on Saturday.
Congress MP P Chidambaram, citing the report, said our score has worsened since 2014 in the 8 years of the Narendra Modi-led government.
“When will the Hon’ble PM address real issues like malnutrition, hunger, and stunting and wasting among children?” he asked on Twitter.
When will the Hon’ble PM address real issues like malnutrition, hunger, and stunting and wasting among children?
22.4 crore people in India are considered undernourished
India’s rank in the Global Hunger Index is near the bottom — 107 out of 121 countries
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) October 15, 2022
The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, termed the level of hunger in India “serious”.
In 2021, India was ranked 101 out of 116 countries. Now with 121 countries in the list, it has dropped to the 107th rank. India’s GHI score has also decelerated – from 38.8 in 2000 to the range of 28.2 – 29.1 between 2014 and 2022.
The government had last year slammed the report — calling it “shocking” and “devoid of ground reality”– after India fell below the 100th rank. The government claimed the methodology used to calculate the Global Hunger Index is unscientific.
“It is shocking to find that the Global Hunger Report 2021 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO (UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation) estimate on proportion of undernourished population, which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues. The publishing agencies of the Global Hunger Report, Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, have not done their due diligence before releasing the report,” the government had said in a statement.
“The methodology used by FAO is unscientific. They have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup. There is no scientific methodology to measure undernourishment like availability of food grains per capita during the period. The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height, whereas the methodology involved here is based on Gallup poll based on pure telephonic estimate of the population,” it had said.
Welt Hunger Hilfe had then refuted New Delhi’s claim that India’s fall in ranking was based on an opinion poll conducted by Gallup.
In an email to NDTV, WHH had said that the Gallup opinion poll is not used by GHI, instead undernourishment is measured using data officially presented by India to the UN.
“Global Hunger Index uses only a ‘prevalence of undernourishment’ indicator… obtained through carefully constructed food balance sheets which are primarily based on data officially reported by the member countries including India,” said Miriam Weimers, Advisor, Global Hunger Index.
The GHI score is calculated on four indicators — undernourishment; child wasting (the share of children under the age of five who are wasted i.e 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).