Condition 'serious': India slips 45 points in Global Hunger Index since 2014

India's hunger problem is worse than North Korea's: global hunger index report

India's hunger problem is worse than North Korea's: global hunger index report

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 the worst-performing region on the index this year.

Though there has been a substantial decrease in the rating from 2008's 35.6 to a 31.4 in the current year, there's hardly anything to cheer for a country that is pegged as world's fastest growing economy for it shares the rating with African nations like Djibouti and Uganda.

India has slipped 45 ranks in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) since 2014. IFPRI said more than a fifth of Indian children aged below five weighed too little for their height and over a third were too short for their age.

Of the 19 South, East and Southeast Asian countries ranked in the report, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and North Korea have the worst Global Hunger Index scores in Asia, reported BS.

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.

"Given that three-quarters of South Asia's population reside in India, the situation in that country strongly influences South Asia's regional score".

Of India's neighbours in South Asia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are doing better than India, while Pakistan and Afghanistan are doing worse. Though being under several worldwide conflicts, North Korea (93) and Iraq (78) ranked much better India in the hunger parameter.

According to the GHI report, more than a fifth (21%) of children in India suffer from wasting (low weight for height)-up from 20% in 2005-2006.

With 21% of under-5 children suffering from wasting, the report notes, India is one of the very few countries that have made no strides over the last 25 years in checking the prevalence of this indicator. Only three other countries in this year's GHI-Djibouti, Sri Lanka, and South Sudan-have data or estimates showing child wasting above 20 percent in the latest period (2012-2016).

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.

However, he said that the on-going efforts are expected to make significant changes in improving the existing situation. The plan shows stronger commitment and greater investments in tackling malnutrition in the coming years.

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