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Global Hunger Index 2021: India Slips To 101st Rank, Behind Pakistan, Nepal

According to the official data on the website of the Global Hunger Index, Brazil, China, Brazil, and Kuwait Shared the top rank with a GHI score of less than five.

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In a major setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Central Government, India has slipped to 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, amid the aftermath of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, especially after the devastating second wave, which lead to loss of livelihood of several people. 

India's position in 2020 was not good, however, this time it slipped to 101 from 94th and is behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

According to the official data on the website of the Global Hunger Index, Brazil, China, Brazil, and Kuwait Shared the top rank with a GHI score of less than five.

The Global Hunger Index report, jointly prepared by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe. 

The report has termed the level of hunger in India "alarming," amid the possible speculations of the COVID-19 third wave, which can also make things worse for India. 

Talking about the GHI score of India, it has also reduced to 28.8- 27.5 between 2012 and 2021 from 38.8 in 2000. 

The GHI calculates the score on the following indicators which are undernourishment:

Child wasting (the share of children under the age of 5 who are wasted, meaning, the children who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition). 

Child stunting (kids under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition)   

Child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

The share of wasting among children in India increased to 17.3 per cent between 2016-2020,  from 17.1 per cent between 1998-2002, the report said. 

According to the report, "People have been severely hit by COVID-19 and by pandemic related restrictions in India, the country with the highest child wasting rate worldwide."

Neighbouring countries like Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71), and Pakistan (92) are also in the 'alarming' hunger category but have fared better at feeding their citizens than India, according to the report.

However, India has shown improvement in other indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children, and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food, the report said.

According to the report, the fight against hunger is dangerously off track. Based on the current GHI projections, the world as a whole -- and 47 countries in particular -- will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030.

Food security is under assault on multiple fronts, it said, adding that worsening conflict, weather extremes associated with global climate change, and the economic and health challenges associated with the COVID19 pandemic are all driving hunger.

"Inequality -- between regions, countries, districts, and communities -- is pervasive and, (if) left unchecked, will keep the world from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) mandate to “leave no one behind," the report said.

Further, the report noted that it is difficult to be optimistic in 2021 because the forces now driving hunger are overpowering good intentions and lofty goals.

Among the most powerful and toxic of these forces are conflict, climate change, and COVID-19—three Cs that threaten to wipe out any progress that has been made against hunger in recent years, it added. 


(With PTI inputs)

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