Global Hunger Index: India worst than North Korea, Iraq

Paola Ditto
Октября 13, 2017

Only in three other countries Djibouti, Sri Lanka and South Sudan are more than 20% of children wasted.

Also adding a growing need of concern for child nutrition in India, the latest 2015-16 National Family Health Survey (NFHS) showed that the availability of solid food with breast milk for young children in the country declined to 42.7% from 52.7 %.

Grappling with a "serious" hunger problem, India has been ranked 100th among 119 developing countries on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), behind North Korea, Bangladesh and even the besieged Iraq, but ahead of Pakistan, according to a report. In fact, the percentage of wasting children has gone up from 20.0% in 1990-94 to 21.0% in 2012-16. "At 31.4, India's 2017 GHI score is at the high end of the "serious" category, and one of the main factors pushing South Asia to the category of worst performing region this year, followed closely by Africa South of the Sahara", it added.

India's poor performance brings to the fore the disturbing reality of the country's stubbornly high proportions of malnourished children-more than one-fifth of Indian children under five weigh too little for their height and over a third are too short for their age, IFPRI said in a statement.

The report showed that India's rank (100) was lower than all its neighbours including Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Bangladesh (88), Sri Lanka (84) and China (29)-except Pakistan (106).

But the country has made progress in other areas, the report said.

The GHI captures the multidimensional nature of hunger based on four indicators -undernourishment (share of the population with insufficient calorific intake), under-5 child wasting, under-5 child stunting (low height for age), and under-5 child mortality.

"Its child stunting rate, while still relatively high at 38.4 percent, has decreased in each of the reference periods in this report, down from 61.9 percent in 1992".

Purnima Menon, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI, said that child wasting reflects acute under-nutrition caused by prolonged period of poor diet, repeated illnesses, and poor sanitation.

Citing a study, the report states India has implemented a "massive scale-up" of two national programs that address nutrition-the Integrated Child Development Services and the National Health Mission-but these have yet to achieve adequate coverage. Of the 119 countries assessed in this year's report, on the GHI Severity Scale, one is in the extremely alarming range, 7 are in the alarming range, 44 in the serious range, and 24 in the moderate range.

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