India under "Serious" category in Global Hunger Index: Child wasting worst across SE Asia

India under "Serious" category in Global Hunger Index: Child wasting worst across SE Asia
Photo Source:Current Affairs

On the heels of the IMF projections of India slipping downwards to become the third poorest country in SE Asia, according to the 2020 Global Hunger Index, the nation has been classified under a category of a country with serious levels of hunger. India has been ranked 94 out of 102 countries in terms of severity of hunger this year, while last year, India was ranked 102 out of 117 countries. With a score of 27.2 out of 50, the 2020 Global Hunger Index report terms the level of hunger in India as "serious".

 In the GHI, while a score of less than 9.9 signifies "low" hunger, that of 10-19.9 represents "moderate" levels of hunger, 20-34.9 points to "serious" hunger, 35-39.9 signifies "alarming" and over 50 "extremely alarming" levels of hunger.

The GHI's job is to calculate the levels of hunger and undernutrition across the world, undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting and child mortality are the four indicators for the index, and they form the basis of an annual peer-reviewed index.

The world has come to a better position for three decades, as the GHI hasn't seen any country under the extremely alarming levels of hunger.

"Taken as a whole, the world has a moderate level of hunger, but in 31 countries hunger is still serious, and an additional 9 countries are provisionally categorized as serious,” the latest GHI report said.

One downside and a factor need to be taken as under serious consideration is that South Asia has the highest child wasting rate for any region. India is the worst of them at 17.3%, India’s child wasting rate is however slightly better than it was last year when it was at  20.8%. Child stunting is also extremely high across South Asia, the report said.

India's neighbouring countries, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan are in the 'serious' category as well but are ranked higher than India in this year's hunger index. Bangladesh is ranked 75, while Myanmar and Pakistan are in the 78th and 88th position. Nepal in 73rd and Sri Lanka in 64th position are in 'moderate' hunger category, the report showed.