India has ranked 94 among 107 countries surveyed as a part of the Global hunger index 2020. The report says that India has had a score of 27.2 making it fall under the “serious category” level of Hunger. What is shocking is that the Global hunger index report states that as much as 14 % of India’s population is undernourished.
In India, Child Stunting Rate is at 37.4%, the child mortality rate is at 3.7% child wasting rate is at 17.3%, and undernourishment is at 14%. Another noteworthy point is that India shares its rank with Sudan, which is also placed at 94. Last year, India was ranked 102 among 117 countries surveyed while in 2018 India was ranked at 103 among 119 countries.
A few countries which are featured in the list at positions ahead of India are:
- Nepal which is ranked at 73
- Pakistan which is ranked at 88
- Bangladesh which is ranked at 75
- Indonesia which is ranked at 70
On the other hand, only 13 Countries fare worse than India including:
- Rwanda which is ranked at 97
- Nigeria which is ranked at 98
- Afghanistan which is ranked at 99
- Liberia which is ranked at 102
- Mozambique which is ranked at 103
- Chad which is ranked at 107
WHAT IS GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX?
The global hunger index report is jointly prepared by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. The values are determined by four major indicators which are as follows:
- Undernourishment: it refers to the share of the population whose calorie intake is not sufficient or up to the mark.
- Child wasting: Child wasting accounts for children below the age of 5 who have low weight for their height
- Child Stunting: Child stunting means the condition of children below the age of 5 who have low height for their weight
- Child Mortality: It basically refers to the mortality rate of children below the age of 5.
What is India’s position in the above-mentioned parameters separately?
Apart from this, the Global hunger index report also stated that India shows a child stunting rate of 37.4 %. A child is called stunted when he has a low height for his age, which reflects chronic undernutrition. Data collected from 1991 through 2014 for countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan showed that the problem of stunting is most visible among children who belong to households which are trapped under the various problems of deprivation, low levels of maternal education, household poverty, and poor dietary diversity.
The data of India shows that child stunting, undernourishment, and child mortality have improved over the past few years while child wasting has only worsened. Another crucial thing to note here is that child wasting and child stunting account for a third of India’s Global hunger index score. India also has the highest prevalence of wasted children under 5 years of age in the world. One positive outlook to the report which can be highlighted is that even though India stands in the poorest category child stunting has actually improved dramatically to less than 35% in 2020 from 54 % recorded in the year 2000. Moreover, child mortality rate and undernourishment which stand at 3.7 % and 14% respectively have also shown significant improvement.
How is it going to affect India’s political situation?
This list comes as a blow for the ruling BJP government, especially when it is trying to make India a global superpower. Such depressing results make Indians as well as the other countries wonder if India is actually ready to take the position of a superpower or not. A question that comes to the mind of every individual analyzing such results is “will India be able to deal with the responsibility of a global superpower when then they fail to compete with smaller and weaker nations such as Bangladesh and Nepal?”. The same was true for last year as well, when India ranked below all these countries at 102.
The Indian government had been constantly denying the economic crisis and this report comes as an eye-opener to all the people who do not believe that the economic slowdown or even recession is on its way.
The report also stated that taking into account the current trajectory India’s goal of achieving zero hunger by the year 2030 cannot be fully achieved. The data supporting this judgement is available even before factoring in the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Food insecurity was already quite prevalent and now after the coronavirus pandemic, the likelihood of “zero hunger by 2030” goal not being achieved looks more evident.
The virus has reduced food and nutrition security around the world further deteriorating health and food concerns. The projections in the Global hunger index still do not account for the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic which is likely to further depress the data in terms of Hunger and nutrition in the near term. The pandemic has acted as a slap in the face of several Nations across the world who believed that their food systems were adequate.
HOW IS THE OVERALL PERFORMANCE OF INDEX THIS YEAR?
Overall, 132 countries were assessed out of which scores of only 107 could be calculated owing to a lack of sufficient data. On Analysis of data, we find out that the situation is improving for some countries whereas for others it is worsening. The Global hunger index scores have improved for 46 countries which fall in the moderate, serious or, alarming categories whereas, on the other hand, the GHI scores for 14 countries in the same categories have worsened. The report has also said that these projections hint that 37 countries will fail to achieve even “low hunger” level by 2030 let alone zero hunger.
However, Some of the best-performing countries on the index were:
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Cuba and
- Kuwait among others.
Hunger and undernutrition in the present world are at record highs with:
- Nearly 690 million people being undernourished
- 144 million children suffering from stunting which is a sign of chronic undernutrition
- 47 million children suffering from child wasting which is a sign of acute undernutrition
- 3 million children dying before they could witness their fifth birthdays.
Worldwide hunger is at a “moderate level”, with the world still facing major challenges. Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia scored 27.8 and 26.0, respectively, depicting the highest hunger and undernutrition levels across the world. The 2020 GHI score suggests that Chad, Timor-Leste, and Madagascar have “alarming levels of hunger”. Based on provisional categories, other countries which fall under the alarming category are- Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Syria, and Yemen. It is also reported that all the countries studied show wide disparities in a range of different indicators of hunger and along several lines such as location, ethnicity, wealth, and sex.