Hunger Overview

Hunger Overview

What's Inside


The key findings of the report entitled 2019 Global Hunger Index: The Challenge of Hunger and Climate Change (released in October, 2019), produced by Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide jointly, are as follows (please click here to access):

• During 2019 India ranks 102nd among 117 countries in terms of Global Hunger Index (GHI).

• Neighbouring countries such as China (GHI score: 6.5; GHI rank: 25), Sri Lanka (GHI score: 17.1; GHI rank: 66), Myanmar (GHI score: 19.8; GHI rank: 69), Nepal (GHI score: 20.8; GHI rank: 73), Bangladesh (GHI score: 25.8; GHI rank: 88) and Pakistan (GHI score: 28.5; GHI rank: 94) have outperformed India (GHI score: 30.3; GHI rank: 102).

• GHI score for India was 38.8 in 2000, 38.9 in 2005, 32.0 in 2010 and 30.3 in 2019. India's GHI score of 30.3 in 2019 falls in the serious range.

• The proportion of undernourished in the population for India was 18.2 percent during 1999-2001, 22.2 percent during 2004-2006, 17.5 percent during 2009-2011 and 14.5 percent during 2016-2018.

• The proportion of children under the age of five who are wasted (viz. too thin for height) for the country was 17.1 percent during 1998-2002, 20.0 percent during 2003-2007, 16.5 percent during 2008-2012 and 20.8 percent during 2014-2018.

• The proportion of children under the age of five who are stunted (viz. too short for age) for India was 54.2 percent during 1998-2002, 47.8 percent during 2003-2007, 42.0 percent during 2008-2012 and 37.9 percent during 2014-2018.

• The under-five mortality rate for India was 9.2 percent in 2000, 7.5 percent in 2005, 5.8 percent in 2010 and 3.9 percent in 2017.

• Because of its large population, India’s GHI indicator values have an outsized impact on the indicator values for the region. India’s child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8 percent—the highest wasting rate of any country in this report for which data or estimates were available.

• Wasting is most prevalent in Yemen, Djibouti, and India, ranging from 17.9 to 20.8 percent.

• India's child stunting rate, 37.9 percent, is also categorized as very high in terms of its public health significance (de Onis et al. 2019).


• In India, just 9.6 percent of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a minimum acceptable diet. It means that around 90 percent of children in that age group do not get sufficient acceptable diet.


• As of 2015–2016, 90 percent of Indian households used an improved drinking water source while 39 percent of households had no sanitation facilities (IIPS and ICF 2017). In 2014 the prime minister instituted the “Clean India” campaign to end open defecation and ensure that all households had latrines. Even with new latrine construction, however, open defecation is still practiced. This situation jeopardizes the population’s health and consequently children’s growth and development as their ability to absorb nutrients is compromised (Ngure et al. 2014; Caruso et al. 2019).

• The GHI score of a country is based on four indicators viz.

- Undernourishment: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);

- Child Wasting: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);

- Child Stunting: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and

- Child Mortality: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

• Each of the four component indicators (discussed above) is given a standardized score on a 100-point scale based on the highest observed level for the indicator on a global scale in recent decades.

• Standardized scores are aggregated to calculate the GHI score for each country. Undernourishment and child mortality each contribute one-third of the GHI score, while the child undernutrition indicators—child wasting and child stunting—each contribute one-sixth of the score. In case of GHI, 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.

• Rankings and index scores from the present report cannot be accurately compared to rankings and index scores from previous reports.

• GHI scores are comparable within each year’s report, but not between different years’ reports. The current and historical data on which the GHI scores are based are continually being revised and improved by the United Nations agencies that compile them, and each year’s GHI report reflects these changes. Comparing scores between reports may create the impression that hunger has changed positively or negatively in a specific country from year to year, whereas in some cases the change may be partly or fully a reflection of a data revision.

• Like the GHI scores and indicator values, the rankings from one year’s report cannot be compared to those from another. In addition to the data and methodology revisions described previously, different countries are included in the ranking every year. This is due in part to data availability—the set of countries for which sufficient data are available to calculate GHI scores varies from year to year. If a country’s ranking changes from one year to the next, it may be in part because it is being compared with a different group of countries. Furthermore, the ranking system was changed in 2016 to include all of the countries in the report rather than just those with a GHI score of 5 or above. This added many countries with low scores to the ranking that had not been previously included.
 


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