IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

India fares poorly in hunger index

17th October, 2020 Society

Context: Country has the highest prevalence of ‘wasted children’; even Bangladesh and Pakistan score better.

  • India has the highest prevalence of wasted children under five years in the world, which reflects acute undernutrition, according to the Global Hunger Index 2020.
  • The situation has worsened in the 2015-19 period, when the prevalence of child wasting was 17.3%, in comparison to 2010-14, when it was 15.1%.
  • Overall, India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Index, lower than neighbours such as Bangladesh (75) and Pakistan (88).
  • 2020 scores reflect data from 2015-19.
  • The Index, is a peer-reviewed report released annually by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.


India fares poorly in hunger index

  • It uses four parameters to determine its scores.
  • India fares worst in child wasting (low weight for height, reflecting acute undernutrition) and child stunting (low height for age, reflecting chronic undernutrition), child mortality and
  • Child stunting has actually improved significantly, from 54% in 2000 to less than 35%.
  • Child wasting, has not improved in the last two decades, and is rather worse than it was decade ago.
  • India has improved in child mortality rates, which are now at 3.7%.
  • In terms of undernourishment, with about 14% of the total population which gets an insufficient caloric intake.

Pandemic effect

  • Globally, nearly 690 million people are undernourished, the COVID-19 pandemic could have affected the progress made on reducing hunger and poverty.

“The world is not on track to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal — known as Zero Hunger for short — by 2030.