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Global Hunger Index: India Suffers With ‘Serious’ Hunger Problem, Ranks 100th Out of 119 Countries

New Delhi, Oct 13: India ranks 100th out of 119 countries on the 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI). With a ‘serious’ hunger problem, India, which stood at 97th position in last year’s rankings, is behind North Korea, Bangladesh and Iraq but ahead of Pakistan (106) and Afghanistan (107).

India, with a score of 31.4 of 100 (with 0 being best and 100 the worst), tied with Djibouti and Rwanda for the 100th rank, a report published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), with Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe said.

The report says that in India, one in every five children under age 5 is ‘wasted’ (low weight for height). With 21 per cent of under-5 children suffering from wasting, India is one of those countries that have made no strides in checking the prevalence of this indicator over the last 25 years. Only Djibouti, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan have a child-wasting prevalence of over 20 per cent in GHI 2017.

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India ranks below many of its neighbouring countries such as China (29th rank), Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Sri Lanka (84) and Bangladesh (88). On the other hand, North Korea is at the 93rd position while Iraq is at 78th rank.

India’s overall GHI score has improved from 38.2 in 2000 to 31.4 in 2017. It ranked 97th out of 118 in 2016 and 80th out of 104 in 2015.

The GHI, now in its 12th year, tracks hunger worldwide and ranks countries based on four key indicators — undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting.

The report says that India has reported an improvement on child stunting. The report notes that the child stunting rate has gone down over the year, from 61.9% in 1992 to 38.4% this year. “The improvement on the child stunting rate shows that children are born in a better condition than before,” Purnima Menon, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI was quoted as saying.

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The 2017 GHI scores show that the level of hunger in the world has decreased by 27% since 2000. One country, out of the 119 assessed on the GHI Severity Scale, is in the extremely alarming range in this year’s report, 7 are in the alarming range, 44 in the serious range, and 24 in the moderate range.

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