New Delhi: India slipped six positions on Global Hunger Index 2022 to take 107th position out of 121 countries ranked. India has been ranked behind all south Asian countries except the war-torn Afghanistan. With a score of 29.1, the publishers of Global Hunger Index – European NGOs Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe– have labelled the level of hunger as “serious.”
GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators – undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, child mortality. While undernourishment represents the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake, child stunting indicates the share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition. Child wasting reflects acute undernutrition in children under age five with low weight for their height.
The data used for the indicators have been sourced various UN and other multilateral agencies, including Unicef, World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the report said.
Neighbouring Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar have been ranked 99, 64, 84, 81, and 71 respectively – all countries above India. As many as 17 countries have been collectively ranked between 1 and 17 with a score of less than five.
Countries ranked below India on the Global Hunger Index are – Zambia, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Liberia, Niger, Haiti, Chad, Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Yemen. For 15 countries — including Guinea, Mozambique, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria — ranks could not be determined owing to lack of data, the report said.
Opposition leaders have latched on to the report to attack the central government.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said that India’s score has worsened since 2014 in the eight years of the Modi government.
“Hindutva, imposing HIndi and spreading Hate are not the antidote to Hunger,” Chidambaram said in a tweet.
Chidambaram’s son and Lok Sabha member Karti Chidambaram tweeted, “The BJP government will reject this & raid the organisation which conducted the study.”
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that the BJP gives speeches about creating a five trillion economy but 106 countries are “better than us in providing two meals a day.”
“India cannot become Number-1 without providing good education to every child,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
The central government had rejected last year’s Global Hunger Index report saying the publishing agencies had not done their “due diligence”.
“It is shocking to find that the Global Hunger Report 20201 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO 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 Union ministry of women and child development had said in a statement.