India’s rank in 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI) slipped to 102, which is considered to be a "serious" category. The index, which measures and tracks hunger at global, regional and national levels, features 117 countries.
India is behind its neighbours Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and is placed only 15 places above the country with the most severe hunger problem, which is Central Africa.
With a score of 30.3, India suffers from the level of hunger that is considered “serious,” the report said.
Pakistan is at 94, Bangladesh at 88 and Nepal at 73 in this year’s GHI report.
“Because of its large population, India’s GHI indicator values have an outsized impact on the indicator values for the region. India’s child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8 percent—the highest wasting rate of any country in this report for which data or estimates were available,” the report said.
“In India, just 9.6 percent of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a minimum acceptable diet,” the GHI report said.
The GHI scores were calculated on four parameters: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality.
The report noted that countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal had made significant achievements. Bangladesh recorded a decline from 58.5% to 49.2% between 1997 and 2011 while Nepal’s stunting rates dropped from 56.6% in 2001 to 40.1% in 2011.
The report said the 2019 GHI indicates that "the level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide falls on the cusp of the moderate and serious categories." "This achievement is no small feat. It coincides with a decline in poverty at the global level from 28.6 percent in 1999 to 9.9 percent in 2015," it said.