India ranked 100th among 119 as hunger gets worse

Grappling with a “serious” hunger problem, India has been ranked 100th among 119 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), behind North Korea, Bangladesh and even the besieged Iraq, but ahead of Pakistan, according to a report.

India was ranked 97th last year. The country’s hunger problem is driven by high child malnutrition, and underlines the need for stronger commitment to the social sector, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said in its report.

“India… has the third highest score in all of Asia — only Afghanistan and Pakistan are ranked worse,” IFPRI said in a statement.

An increase in GHI indicates the worsening of a country’s hunger situation. “At 31.4, India’s 2017 GHI score is at the high end of the ‘serious’ category, and one of the main factors pushing South Asia to the category of worst performing region this year, followed closely by Africa South of the Sahara,” it added. Among India’s neighbouring countries, China ranks the highest at 29; Nepal has been ranked 72, Myanmar 77, Sri Lanka 84, Bangladesh 88, Pakistan 106 and Afghanistan 107. North Korea ranks 93rd, and Iraq 78th. Now in its 12th year, the GHI ranks countries based on four indicators — undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting.

IFPRI said more than a fifth of Indian children aged below five weighed too little for their height and over a third were too short for their age. “As of 2015-16, more than a fifth (21%) of children… suffer from wasting (low-weight-for- height) — up from 20% in 2005-2006,” IFPRI said. Only three other nations — Djibouti, SL and South Sudan — show child wasting above 20%this year.

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