India ranked 107 out of 121 countries in 2022 Global Hunger Index (GHI), slipping six places. Reacting to the report which was released on Saturday, the Centre called it “misinformation”, and part of a “consistent effort’’ to “taint India’s image”.
“Since 2000, India has made substantial progress, but there are still areas of concern, particularly regarding child nutrition,” the report stated. “India’s GHI score has decreased from a score of 38.8 points (in 2000) — considered alarming — to a 2022 GHI score of 29.1, considered serious. India’s proportion of undernourished in the population is considered to be at medium level, and its under-five child mortality rate is considered low.”
With a score of 29.1, the level of hunger in India is “serious’’, as per the report. It says child wasting — or the share of children under 5 years who have low weight for their height, indicating undernourishment — in country is 19.3%, the highest in the world.
Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have got higher ranking in GHI, according to the report.
As per the report, while child stunting has seen a “significant decrease” — from 54.2% in 1998-1999 to 35.5% in 2019-2021 — it is still “considered very high”. At 19.3%, according to latest data, “India has the highest child wasting rate of all countries covered in GHI. This rate is higher than it was in 1998-1999, when it was 17.1%.”
Centre says bid to taint India’s image
Reacting to the report, the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development stated: “A consistent effort is yet again visible to taint India’s image as a nation that does not fulfil the food security and nutritional requirements of its population. Misinformation seems to be the hallmark of annually released Global Hunger Index. The Global Hunger Report 2022 released by Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, NGOs from Ireland and Germany respectively, has ranked India at 107 among 121 countries…”
Calling the report “disconnected from reality”, the ministry said it chooses to “deliberately ignore efforts made by the government to ensure food security” during the pandemic. It claimed the Centre is running “largest food security programme in the world”.
Congress slams BJP
Hitting out at the BJP government, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “India has fallen on the hunger index yet again ,now ranking 107, lagging behind every south asian country except Afghanistan. BJP’s living in denial & trying to suppress facts has led India to this massive crisis. Are there anymore excuses still left, Modi ji?
The Congress also put out a tweet alleging that the “Modi government is equal to disaster”. “India ranks 107th in the Hunger Index, out of a list of 121 countries. Till last year the ranking was 101. “Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Rwanda. These countries are in a better position than us. Was this ‘Acche Din’ promised by the fake Vishwaguru,” the Congress posted in Hindi on its official Twitter handle.