India’s Objections for the Global Hunger Index, 2023
India has been placed at 111 out of 125 countries in the Global Hunger Index report published by two European NGOs on October 12, 2023. India slipped four positions as compared to last year. The India rejects Global Hunger Index, 2023 on 12 October 2023, as it has done on previous occasions. The government of India rejected the Global Hunger Index, 2023 on the following grounds:
- The methodology adopted for the report preparation needs to be revised and has raised concerns about how the four parameters were selected for the report.
- The report skews toward the children as three out of the four indicators taken into consideration for the calculation of the index are about the children’s health, which cannot be representative of the entire population.
- The sample size for the data collection for Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) was a tiny sample size of 3000. the government claimed.
However, the data on ‘undernourishment’ has been taken from various reports published by organizations such as – The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, also known as the SOFI report, was prepared by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Children.
Detail analysis of Global Hunger Index, 2023:
Welt Hungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide two NGOs from Germany and Ireland respectively, have published the said report. As per the publisher’s website, it is being peer-reviewed report and has been prepared annually since 2006.
It is to be noted here that these NGOs were not directly involved in Collecting the data, they published the report based on the secondary data published by authorized organizations SOFI -UNICEF,
The countries whose performance is not better than India’s are Mozambique, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Haiti, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad, Niger, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Central African Republic, Madagascar, South Sudan, Burundi, and Somalia.
the economic size of these countries is comparatively tiny However, India is the fastest-growing Economy in the world. If we see the performance of the fastest-growing economy in such a social aspect, it raises the eyebrows of the intellectuals and citizens of the country.
Measurements of Global Hunger Index, 2023:
According to the NGOs published in this report, Four factors have been taken into consideration for calculating the Global Hunger Index scores:
- Undernourishment (refers to the entire population – both children and adults);
- Child stunting (share of children who have low height for their age);
- Child under-5 mortality;
- And child wasting (children who have low weight for their height).
The calculation of the GHI score is carried out on a 100-point scale. As the score of GHI increases on this scale, the country’s performance deteriorates.
Performance of India in Global Hunger Index, 2023.
India is one of the 40 countries where hunger levels are considered “severe” in the world. According to the reported study, India’s overall GHI score is 28.7 and the high rating could indicate several underlying issues with the country’s nutritional health.
It adds, “For some countries, higher scores are driven by higher rates of undernutrition, indicating calorie deficiency for large sections of the population.” The paper continues by saying that, in addition to other “extreme challenges facing populations”, high GHI scores for some countries may also indicate acute undernutrition among children and their low nutritional levels.
India’s performance on four parameters:
1. Childhood Wasting:
According to the report, the child ‘wasting’ (low weight for height) rate in India is the highest across the world at 18.7%. This is the reflection of acute undernutrition.
The country with more than 15% of the children ‘wasted’, is marked as a ‘very high’ level of concern, as per the report. India is the only country in the ‘very high’ category under the wasting parameter.
Countries With Highest Prevalence of Childhood Wasting in Percentage:
|Sl. No.||Country||Child Wasting In Percentage|
|9||Syrian Arab Republic.||10.8|
2. Childhood Stunting:
As far as childhood stunting (low height for age) goes, India, again, comes in the category of ‘very high’ risk countries. More than 35% of children have been marked stunted in India, although several other African countries and some East-Asian countries perform worse than India on this parameter.
Countries With Highest Prevalence of Childhood Stunting in Percentage:
|Sl. No.||Country||Child Stunting in Percentage|
|7||Dem. Rep. of the Congo||41.8|
|8||Papua New Guinea||40.2|
|9||Central African Republic||40|
The report found that nearly 16.6% of the overall Indian population is undernourished and levels of undernourishment are marked as ‘medium’ risk.
4. Under-5 years of mortality
And, in under-5 years of mortality, the GHI report categorized India as a country with ‘low risk’, with around 3.1% of children dying before the age of five.
One of the very debilitating clauses of poor performance by India is the prevalence of anaemia among women aged 15-24 and cause of concern for the country. If we talk about more precisely more than 50% of adolescents and women are anaemic in the country. This is one of the highest percentages of anemia across the world.
The concern raised by India must be addressed by report publisher and on other hand, India should work for revolving the issues flagged in the report for betterment of the Indian citizens. The government of India has taken various policy measures and initiated schemes to reform the agricultural sector to ensure food security for India.