India has ranked 107th out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022, down from the 101st position the previous year.
Key Rankings of Global Hunger Index 2022
- Jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerlife, the GHI lists countries by ‘severity’.
- Yemen has ranked in the lowest position at 121, while the top of the list is dominated by European nations including Croatia, Estonia and Montenegro.
- Among Asian nations, China and Kuwait have ranked the highest.
What is the Global Hunger Index?
- The GHI has been brought out almost every year since 2000; with this year’s report being the 15th one. A low score gets a country a higher ranking and implies a better performance.
- The reason for mapping hunger is to ensure that the world achieves “Zero Hunger by 2030” — one of the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the United Nations. It is for this reason that GHI scores are not calculated for certain high-income countries.
- While in common parlance hunger is understood in terms of food deprivation, in a formal sense it is calculated by mapping the level of calorie intake.
- But the GHI does not limit itself to this narrow definition of hunger. Instead, it tracks the performance of different countries on four key parameters because, taken together, these parameters capture multiple dimensions — such a deficiency of micronutrients — of hunger, thus providing a far more comprehensive measure of hunger.
How is hunger measured?
The GHI looks at four main indicators:
- Undernourishment (which reflects inadequate food availability): calculated by the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);
- Child Wasting (which reflects acute undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, those who have low weight for their height);
- Child Stunting (which reflects chronic undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, those who have low height for their age);
- Child Mortality (which reflects both inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environment): calculated by the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition.
- Each country’s data are standardised on a 100-point scale and a final score is calculated after giving 33.33% weight each to components 1 and 4, and giving 16.66% weight each to components 2 and 3.
- Countries scoring less than or equal to 9.9 are slotted in the “low” category of hunger, while those scoring between 20 and 34.9 are in the “serious” category and those scoring above 50 are in the “extremely alarming” category.
What is India’s score relative to those of the others?
- With a score of 29.1, which falls in the ‘serious’ category of hunger, India was ranked behind its neighbours Nepal (81), Pakistan (99), Sri Lanka (64), and Bangladesh (84).
- India has been recording decreasing GHI scores over the years. In 2000, it recorded an ‘alarming’ score of 38.8, which reduced to 28.2 by 2014. The country has started recording higher scores since then.
- While India has been consistently recording lower values for the four indicators, it started going up in 2014 for undernourishment and the prevalence of wasting in children.
- The proportion of undernourishment in the population went from 14.8 in 2014 to 16.3 in 2022, and the prevalence of wasting in children under five years jumped from 15.1 in 2014 to 19.3 in 2022.
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