13 October 2016 Current Affairs: India ranked 97th out of 118 countries on the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Global Hunger Index (GHI) in 2016, behind Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, among others, but ahead of Pakistan and three other Asian countries. It was positioned at 80 out of 104 countries the previous year.
While India has improved its score on various parameters over the past few years, two out of five children below five years of age are stunted in India. Stunting measures chronic malnutrition and affected children’s height would be considerably below the average for their age.
Besides, the country was still rated with ‘serious’ hunger levels in the 2016 Index.
The country had only the fifth highest rank in the whole of Asia, better than only North Korea (98), Pakistan (107), Timor-Leste (110) and Afghanistan (111).
Nepal (72), Sri Lanka (84), and Bangladesh (90) had higher ranks among 96 countries than India’s. Also, India had the lowest rank among BRICS nations, with Brazil in the top 16, Russia at 24, China at 29 and South Africa at 51.
Globally, the Central African Republic, Chad, and Zambia were estimated to have the highest levels of hunger. For the developing world, the GHI score is estimated to be 21.3 which, according to the report, is at the lower end of the ‘serious’ category. According to the report, there are some “bright spots” in the fight to end world hunger. It estimates that the level of hunger in developing countries has fallen by 29 per cent since 2000, with 20 countries reducing their GHI scores by around 50 per cent each since 2000.