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India Falls To 101 From 94 In Hunger Index Behind Pakistan, Nepal: Report

Global Hunger Index: “People have been severely hit by COVID-19 and by pandemic related restrictions in India, the country with highest child wasting rate worldwide,” the report said

India Falls To 101 From 94 In Hunger Index Behind Pakistan, Nepal: Report
Highlights
  • In 2020, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries
  • Share of wasting among children in India rose from 17.1% to 17.3%
  • Food security is under assault on multiple fronts, report said

New Delhi: India has slipped to the 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th and is behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Eighteen countries, including China, Brazil and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI score of less than five, the website of the Global Hunger Index that tracks hunger and malnutrition said on Thursday. The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, termed the level of hunger in India “alarming”. In 2020, India was ranked 94th out of 107 countries.

Now with 116 countries in the fray, it has dropped to 101st rank. India’s GHI score has also decelerated — from 38.8 in 2000 to the range of 28.8 – 27.5 between 2012 and 2021. The GHI score is calculated on four indicators –undernourishment; child wasting (the share of children under the age of five who are wasted i.e who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition) and child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

Also Read: 75 Years Of Health, Nutrition & Hygiene In India: What Have We Learned & The Road Ahead

The share of wasting among children in India rose from 17.1 per cent between 1998-2002 to 17.3 per cent between 2016-2020, according to the report. “People have been severely hit by COVID-19 and by pandemic-related restrictions in India, the country with highest child wasting rate worldwide,” the report said. Neighbouring countries like Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the ‘alarming’ hunger category but have fared better at feeding its citizens than India, according to the report.

However, India has shown improvement in other indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food, the report said. According to the report, the fight against hunger is dangerously off track. Based on the current GHI projections, the world as a whole — and 47 countries in particular — will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030.

Also Read: Opinion: The Sustainable Development Goal Of Zero Hunger VS Where India Stands

Food security is under assault on multiple fronts, it said, adding that worsening conflict, weather extremes associated with global climate change, and the economic and health challenges associated with the COVID19 pandemic are all driving hunger.

Inequality — between regions, countries, districts, and communities — is pervasive and, (if) left unchecked, will keep the world from achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) mandate to “leave no one behind, the report said.

Further, the report noted that it is difficult to be optimistic in 2021 because the forces now driving hunger are overpowering good intentions and lofty goals. Among the most powerful and toxic of these forces are conflict, climate change, and COVID-19—three Cs that threaten to wipe out any progress that has been made against hunger in recent years, it added.

Also Read: COVID-19 Has Made Children More Vulnerable To Malnutrition, Here’s How

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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