India ranked 111th out of 125 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2023, a standing the government termed “erroneous and having malafide intent”.
GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Hunger and Poverty, Government Policies and Interventions)
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Global Hunger Index (GHI)
- Highlights of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022
About Global Hunger Index (GHI)
- The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool that measures and tracks hunger globally as well as by region and by country.
- The Global Hunger Index (GHI) prepared by European NGOs of Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
- The GHI combines 4 component indicators:
- Undernourishment: the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake (data are from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization)
- Child stunting: the share of children under age five who have low height for their age (data are from UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the Demographic and Health Surveys Program)
- Child wasting: the share of children under age five who have low weight for their height (data are from UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the Demographic and Health Surveys Program)
- Child mortality: the mortality rate of children under age five (data are from the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation).
- Countries are divided into five categories of hunger on the basis of their score, which are ‘low’, ‘moderate’, ‘serious’, ‘alarming’ and ‘extremely alarming’.
- The GHI is calculated annually, and its results appear in a report issued in October each year.
- Besides presenting GHI scores, each year the GHI report includes an essay addressing one particular aspect of hunger.
- The aim of the Global Hunger Index is to raise awareness and act against hunger to reduce hunger around the world.
Highlights of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2023
- India has been ranked 111th out of 125 countries in the Global Hunger Index-2023. It reported the highest child wasting rate at 18.7%.
- In 2022, India was ranked 107th out of 121 countries.
- India received a GHI score of 28.7 in 2023, indicating a serious level of hunger.
- The global GHI score for 2023 is 18.3, considered moderate and slightly lower than the world’s 2015 score of 19.1.
- Neighboring countries like Pakistan (102nd), Bangladesh (81st), Nepal (69th), and Sri Lanka (60th) outperformed India in the index.
- South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara have the highest hunger levels, each with a GHI score of 27, indicating serious hunger.
Criticism of the Report by the Union Government:
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) has criticized the GHI, calling it a “flawed measure of hunger” that doesn’t reflect India’s true position.
- The MoWCD claims that data from its Poshan Tracker portal shows a child wasting prevalence of 7.2% among under-five-year-olds, while the GHI uses a value of 18.7% for child wasting.
- The ministry argues that two other indicators, stunting and wasting, result from complex interactions of factors like sanitation, genetics, environment, and food intake utilization, apart from hunger.
- The MoWCD also objects to the use of a telephone-based opinion poll to calculate undernourishment, a GHI indicator. The GHI maintains that it relies on data from India’s Food Balance Sheet for this indicator.
- The Ministry highlights that three out of the four GHI indicators are related to children’s health and cannot represent the entire population.
-Source: The Hindu