Global Hunger Index 2018 Categorises India as Serious

Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2018 that tracks the state of hunger worldwide and spotlights those places where action to address hunger is most urgently needed, published jointly by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe on 10 October 2018, reveals a distressing gap between the current rate of progress in the fight against hunger and under-nutrition and the rate of progress needed to eliminate hunger and alleviate human suffering. India with hunger levels in the country categorised as “serious” has been ranked at 103 out of 119 countries in the Index, whereas it was ranked at 100 in GHI 2017. GHI 2018 has a special focus on the theme of forced migration and hunger and its results confirm that we are still far from a world free from hunger. Conflict is one of the main drivers, besides other number of factors, contributing to rise of hunger and 60% of the world’s hungry people live in conflict zones as bottom three countries of this year’s GHI: Central African Republic, Chad and Yemen, are in the midst of conflict zone.

  • GHI 2018 indicates real improvements in the lives of millions of men, women, and children in many countries as in terms of the global average, hunger; and under-nutrition has declined since 2000 but that this progress has been uneven.
  • Progress has been robust in some parts of the world but in other parts hunger and under-nutrition persist or have even worsened.
  • Levels of hunger are still serious or alarming in 51 countries and extremely alarming in one country, the Central African Republic, which is now the hungriest country in the world.
  • Growing numbers of people still suffer the indignity of hunger and the insecurity of forced displacement in too many areas.
  • Reality of hunger and under-nutrition continues to have a massive impact on the next generation as approximately 124 million people suffer acute hunger, whereas it was 80 million two years ago reflecting a striking increase.
  • About 151 million children are stunted and 51 million children are wasted across the globe.
  • Hard-won gains are being further threatened by conflict, climate change, poor governance, and a host of other challenges.
  • Root causes and complex realities of hunger are not being adequately tackled despite evidence showing that real progress is possible.
  • We are not on track to meet UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2 which aims to end hunger, ensure food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030 that the world’s countries committed in 2015.

GHI 2018 used four main indicators to calculate hunger levels and India has shown improvement in three of these four indicators over the comparable reference years as under:

1st Undernourishment: Share of undernourished population reflecting insufficient caloric intake of which the percentage in the population in India has dropped from 18.2% in 2000 to 14.8% in 2018.

2nd Child stunting: low height for age, reflecting chronic under-nutrition; has dropped from 54.2% to 38.4%; and

3rd Child mortality: rate that has halved from 9.2% to 4.3%, over the same period

4th Child wasting, low weight for height, reflecting acute under-nutrition; its prevalence has actually worsened in comparison to previous reference years. It stood at 17.1% in 2000, increased to 20% in 2005 and it stands at 21% in 2018.

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