India In A Fix, Slips 45 Positions Since 2014 In Global Hunger Index

| October 14 , 2017 , 16:50 IST

India is suffering from serious hunger crisis, at least that is what the figure says. Trailing behind the countries like Iraq and Bangladesh, world's largest democracy has slipped to the 100th position in this year's Global Hunger Index.

The joy of being ahead of Pakistan in the index has dampened due to our worsening position. Surprisingly, India held 55th position in 2014 and has slipped by 45 positions in mere three years.

As per the Index, almost every fifth Indian child under the age of five weighs too little for his height and every third is too short for his age. India’s 2017 GHI score which is 31.4 is at the high end of the “serious” category.

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South Asia has been pushed to the worst-performing region on the index this year, followed closely by Africa South of the Sahara. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) report, India is the third-worst in all of Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan follow the league.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and North Korea have the worst Global Hunger Index scores in Asia. The report includes 119 countries whose result vary widely. A score of 9.9 or lower denotes low hunger while the scores between 35.0 and 49.9 denote alarming hunger, and a score of 20-34.9 means ‘serious’ problem of hunger.

Nivedita Varshneya, Welthungerhilfe Country Director India, “With a GHI score that is near the high end of the serious category, it is obvious that a high GDP growth rate alone is no guarantee of food and nutrition security for India’s vast majority. Inequality in all its forms must be addressed now if we are to meet SDG 2 of Zero Hunger for everyone by 2030."

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PK Joshi, IFPRI director for South Asia, says even with the massive scale-up of national nutrition-focused programmes in India, drought and structural deficiencies have left a large number of poor in the country at the risk of malnourishment in 2017.

Only three countries in this year’s index — Djibouti, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan has shown child wasting above 20 percent. Even, India’s child wasting rate has not shown any improvement in the past 25 years.