The Global Hunger Index 2020 has ranked India at 94 among 107 countries in terms of hunger. India continues to be in the severe hunger category. The study revealed that around 14 percent of India’s population is undernourished. The disappointing ranking has come despite the National Food Security Act.
Last year, India’s GHI rank was 102 out of 117 countries. South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara have the worst hunger conditions among global regions, the GHI reported.
The GHI is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and national levels. Data from the United Nations and other multilateral agencies are used for the calculation. The GHI score is calculated on four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting, the share of children under the age of five, who are wasted with low weight for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition, and child mortality- the mortality rate of children under the age of five.
India ranks lower than most of its South Asian neighbours – Pakistan(88), Nepal (73), Bangladesh (75), Sri Lanka (64), and Myanmar (78) and only Afghanistan fares worse, at the 99th place.
Shweta Khandelwal, the head of Nutrition Research and Additional Professor at Public Health Foundation of India, said the country has one of the most impressive portfolios of programmes and policies in nutrition in the books.
“Research shows that our top-down approach, poor implementation processes, lack of effective monitoring and siloed approaches in tackling malnutrition often result in poor nutrition indices. We must integrate actions to make public health and nutrition a priority across each sector”. She further told PTI.
It must also be stated that India is implementing a national nutrition plan, with focus on 115 aspirational districts, which are at the bottom of the pyramid of the social health indicators.