India has been ranked low 97th among the 118 countries surveyed in 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI). In 2016 GHI, India has scored low 28.5 on a 0-100 point scale of the index.
It describes India’s hunger situation as “serious. The index was released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
What is Global Hunger Index (GHI)?
- The GHI is a multidimensional statistical tool used to describe the state of countries’ hunger situation. It is released annually by IFPRI since 2006.
- It ranks countries on a 100-point scale. Zero on the scale is the best score (no hunger), and 100 is the worst.
- It highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger. Thus, GHI aims to trigger actions to reduce hunger.
- The GHI is calculated by taking into account four indicator parameters. They are (i) Undernourished population (1/3rd weight), (ii) Child wasting (1/6th weight), (iii) Child stunting (1/6th weight) and (iii) Infant mortality rate (1/3rd weight).
- Stunting: Deficiency in height in relation to age, reflects chronic undernutrition. Wasting: Low weight in relation to a child’s height, reflects acute undernutrition.
Key highlights of 2016 GHI
- There is widespread and chronic lack of balanced food in India. About 15% of under-5 children are `wasted’ and 39% of under-5 children are ‘stunted’.
- The under-5 mortality rate is 4.8% in India, partially reflecting the fatal synergy of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.
- Estimated 15% population is undernourished and lacks in adequate food intake, both in quantity and quality.
- Though India runs two of the world’s biggest children’s nutrition programmes malnutrition continues to haunt India.
- These two programmes are ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) for children under 6 years and the mid-day meal programme for school going kids up to the age of 14/
- The main reasons for the sorry state in India are endemic poverty, unemployment, lack of sanitation and safe drinking water, and lack of effective healthcare.