‘Global Hunger Index 2020’

Context

India ranked 94 among 107 nations in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020 and continues to be in the ‘serious’ hunger category. Last year, India’s rank was 102 out of 117 countries.

  • 14 per cent of India’s population was undernourished
  • 4 per cent stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 per cent
  • Under-five mortality rate stood at 3.7 per cent. 

 Affordability of nutritious diets in rural India

  • A paper published by the International Food Policy Research Institute has noted that three out of four Indians living in villages cannot afford diet which can be considered nutritious.
  • The paper finds that “surprisingly few” discuss the role of diets, particularly the affordability of nutritious diets in India.
  • 45-64% of the rural poor cannot afford a nutritious diet that meets India’s national food-based dietary guidelines
  • Among stiff problems that lend themselves to the appalling diet scenario in rural India are low wages and the significant structural problems facing India’s agricultural sector, the paper posits.
  • Currently, India uses Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) to measure food costs.
    • However, the paper states, “In poor countries such as India, CPIs are heavily weighted towards nutrient-sparse starchy staples, meaning that trends in the food CPI can be misleading from a nutritional standpoint.”
    • In comparison, according to researchers, calculating the minimum cost of a recommended diet can give better insights into nutrition and poverty in rural regions.
  • The paper arrives at the conclusion that ‘malnutrition is endemic in India,’ based on information on rural food price and wages gleaned from the 2011 National Sample Survey.

Key-takeaways

  • 17 nations, including China, Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, bagged the top rank with GHI scores of less than five.
  • India features behind Nepal (73), Pakistan (88), Bangladesh (75), Indonesia (70) among others.
  • Out of the total 107 countries, only 13 countries fare worse than India including countries like Rwanda (97), Nigeria (98), Afghanistan (99), Liberia (102), Mozambique (103), Chad (107) among others.

Global Hunger Index (GHI)

  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
  • GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators:
    • undernourishment (share of the population with insufficient caloric intake)
    • child wasting (share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition)
    • child stunting (share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition)
    • child mortality (mortality rate of children under age five, partly reflecting the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).
  • Based on the values of the four indicators, the GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.
  • Each country’s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming.

© 2020 Basix Education Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved