India rated 'Serious' in Global Hunger Index
According to the Global Hunger Index 2016, India was ranked 97 among 118 countries. With a 28.5 GHI score, India was below the average of a developing country (21.3). India ranked behind China (29), Nepal (72), Myanmar (75), Sri Lanka (84), and Bangladesh (90). The report indicated that 15.2% Indians are undernourished and 38.7% of under-five children (2 out of 5) are stunted.
World Hunger in numbers
Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis combined. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 795 million people in the world (1 in 9), do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. Most of them live in developing countries. 1 in 6 children, in developing countries are underweight. 1 in 4 of world's children are stunted.
Major causes of hunger
Poverty, harmful economic systems, conflict, large population, food and agricultural policies and climate change are some of the main reasons that cause hunger in affected regions.
Ending hunger as part of UN's Sustainable Development Goals
"Zero Hunger" is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN. It aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030 and make sure all people, 'especially children', have access to sufficient and nutritious food all through the year. This requires promotion of sustainable agricultural practices along with investment in infrastructure and technology to enhance agricultural productivity.
What is the Global Hunger Index (GHI)?
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a statistical tool developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), to measure and track hunger - globally, regionally and nationally. It is designed to raise awareness and call attention to the issue and hopes to increase the commitment and resources dedicated to end hunger. The first edition of GHI was published in 2006.
GHI scores are based on four indicators : proportion of undernourished people, mortality rate for children under the age of 5, child stunting, and child wasting. A high GHI score reflects high hunger problem and vice-versa. On the GHI scale, a score below 10 indicates "low" prevalence of hunger and above 50 means an "extremely alarming" situation.
GHI - Top and bottom ranked nations
Among the developing nations, Argentina and Brazil were ranked best with a GHI score below 5. Countries including Chad and Central African Republic performed worst with a score of 44.3 and 46.1, respectively. IFPRI while releasing the GHI report said that if hunger decline followed the same rate as it did since 1992, global community will fall short of 2030 Sustainable Development Goal.
Countries that have improved
Few countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Rwanda, have improved over the years and have succeeded in reducing their GHI scores by over 50%, since 2000. Further no developing country, for which data was available, was in the "extremely alarming" category.