India’s rank in this year’s Global Hunger Index rose to 94 from 102 last year, but the country performed worse than Pakistan (88th rank) and Bangladesh (75th rank). The index, which calculates the hunger levels and malnutrition across the world, was released on Friday. This year, the report has accessed the data of 132 countries but has ranked only 107 of them.
India’s overall score is 27.2 on the list of 107 countries. This puts India in the “serious” category. As per the report, 14% of India’s population is undernourished.
India is once again the worst performer in child wasting rates. Wasting in children is the condition in which they have “low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition”. India’s child wasting rate for 2020 stands at 17.3%, marginally better than last year, when it recorded a wasting rate of 20.8%.
India also recorded a child stunting rate of 37.4%. Stunted children have “low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition”. The country also registered a higher number of child mortality due to prematurity and low birth weight.
“Data from 1991 through 2014 for Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan showed that stunting is concentrated among children from households facing multiple forms of deprivation, including poor dietary diversity, low levels of maternal education, and household poverty,” said the report.
However, there has been a drop in under-five mortality rates in the country. “India – the region’s most populous country – experienced a decline in under-five mortality in this period, driven largely by decreases in deaths from birth asphyxia or trauma, neonatal infections, pneumonia, and diarrhea,” stated the report.
Worldwide, no country featured in the “extremely alarming” category. Three countries – Chad, Timor-Leste and Madagascar – featured in the “alarming” category.