October 19, 2021 - 5:46 am

A Reality Check

India slipped to 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, from its 2020 positions of 94th. It is now behind its neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The report prepared jointly by Iris aid agency Concern worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger hilfe, termed the level of hunger in the current in the country ''alarming''. whereas Somalia has the highest level of hunger.

                                                  The GHI score is calculated on the basis of undernourishment, child wasting (share of children under the age of five, who are wasted or have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition), child stunting (children under the age of five who have log height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition) and child mortality (mortality rate of children under the age of 5). Based on these four indicators, the GHI determines hunger on 100-point scale, where 0 is the best possible score(no hunger) and 100 is the worst. Each country's GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming. Reacting sharply to the Global Hunger Report 2021, the Women and Child Development Ministry said it is ''shocking'' to find that it has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate on proportion of undernourished population which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methods of methodological issues.

                                                   Conflict, climate change and novel coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic have exacerbated the food security situation across the globe including India according to the GHI 2021. Current projects based on the GHI show that the world as a whole and 47 countries in particular will fail to achieve even low hunger by 2030. The government criticism on the GHI report stating it to have completely disregarded government's massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the covid period, verifiable data on which are available. India must assert the right to food for all and make zero hunger a reality.