Level Of Hunger In India Is "Serious", A Stark Fall In Last 22 Years
India has slipped to the 107th position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022 of 121 countries, from its 2021 position of 101st and is behind its neighbours Nepal (81), Pakistan (99), Sri Lanka (64), and Bangladesh (84) barring war-torn Afghanistan. Seventeen countries, including China, Turkey, and Kuwait, shared the top rank with a GHI score of less than five. As per the report, jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, the level of hunger in India is “serious”. The value indicators that the index comprises show a stark fall in the last 22 years.
The Global Hunger Index is a technique for measuring and monitoring hunger on a global, regional, and national level. The GHI score is calculated on four indicators — undernourishment ( the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake); child stunting (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, showing chronic undernutrition), child mortality, and child wasting (the fraction of children under the age of five who are wasted, or who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition) (the mortality rate of children under the age of five). The GHI score is determined on a scale of zero to one hundred, with zero representing the absence of hunger and one hundred the worst possible score. A higher index value indicates that the hunger problem is getting worse. The best result is zero, which means there is no hunger.
India's GHI score dropped from 38.8 points in 2000, which was regarded as alarming, to 29.1 points in 2022, which is considered serious. India's population undernutrition rate is thought to be at a medium level, and the country's under-five death rate is thought to be low. While child stunting has seen a significant decrease from 54.2% in 1998–1999 to 35.5% in 2019–2021 it is still considered very high. India has the highest child wasting rate of any GHI-covered nation, at 19.3%, per the most recent data. Compared to 1998–1999, when it was 17.1%, this rate is higher.
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2022 forces us to confront a sombre truth. Conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic had already exposed millions to shocks in food prices and made them vulnerable to more catastrophes. Currently, the situation in Ukraine is escalating from a crisis into a catastrophe by impacting global food, fertiliser, and fuel supply and prices. A legacy of earlier failures to create more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food systems, the pace and severity of the global food crisis, however, reflect the fact that millions of people were already teetering on the brink of starvation. The report for this year consequently emphasises local governance and the development of food systems.
The disgrace of rising hunger in far too many countries is represented in the 2022 Global Hunger Index, as is the reversal of trends in countries where decades of progress toward eradicating hunger are being lost. The duty for addressing hunger rests with the entire world community. The global north also contributes to the food problem by giving farmers subsidies that skew the pricing of food on the global market and dissuade farmers in other regions of the world from concentrating on food production rather than cash crops. Richer countries' continued high levels of consumption have historically contributed to climate change, a major cause of famine. We live in such a globalized world that the effects of hunger will have an impact on the global north too. Conflicts are likely to follow a food shortage, and those who are starving will inevitably leave their current location in search of food. Illegal migration from nations in Africa and the Middle East is one of the main concerns for Europeans, and as long as there is hunger in some areas of those regions, migration will undoubtedly continue.
We will observe World Food Day on October 16. A global objective included in the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN is "End hunger by 2030." The phrase "leave no one behind" runs throughout that objective. We are still far from attaining this objective, though. The pandemic has made the task at hand more difficult and presented more significant barriers in the road. Therefore, it is even more crucial that we step up our efforts to make sure that nobody is left behind or goes to bed hungry. The health and food systems have been put to the test by the pandemic. Our food systems' widespread inequality and inefficiency have been made clear by this. Many of us take food for granted even though it is essential to our life and is a cornerstone of our cultures and civilizations, while others go without. To put an end to hunger and ensure that everyone has access to adequate nutrient-rich food to live active, healthy lives, more action must be taken right away.