India has a “serious” hunger problem and ranks 97th out of 118 countries, according to the Global Hunger Index that was released on Tuesday. The report by the International Food Policy Research Institute said 15.2% of the country’s citizens are under-nourished, with 38.7% of children under five years being stunted because of lack of food, Mint reported.

India was given a GHI score of 28.5, which is worse than the developing nation average score of 21.3. The worst scores were given to Chad (44.3) and the Central African Republic (46.1). India’s GHI score has fallen by 25.4% since 2000, according to the report. It also ranks worst among its Asian neighbours with the exception of Pakistan, which ranked 107 on the Index. China was placed at the 29th position, while Nepal ranked 72nd, Myanmar was 75th, Sri Lanka 84th and Bangladesh at 90th place.

The IFPRI said the world is not on course to end hunger by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal deadline of 2030. “Countries must accelerate the pace at which they are reducing hunger,” said IFPRI director-general Shenggen Fan, adding that ending global hunger “is certainly possible”.

The institute says it combines four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting (a low weight-to-height ratio representing acute undernutrition), child stunting (a low weight-to-to age ratio representing chronic undernutrition) and child mortality – to form the GHI.