India dropped from the 101st spot in 2021 to the 107th spot in 2022 according to the Global Hunger Index (GHI). The GHI, jointly released by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, measures and tracks hunger in all of its forms at the international, regional, and national levels. Among the 121 nations on the GHI, India is ranked behind its neighbours Nepal (81), Pakistan (99), Sri Lanka (64), and Bangladesh (84).
The GHI, which lists countries by ‘severity’, has given India a score of 29.1, which falls in the ‘serious’ category of hunger level.
Yemen is ranked 121st on the list, which comprises 17 top-ranking countries in total; there are only minor differences between their severity ratings. The top two countries on the list, which is dominated by European countries like Croatia, Estonia, and Montenegro, are both Asian: China and Kuwait.
The GHI score is calculated on four indicators — undernourishment; child wasting (the share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting (children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).
According to the methodology, a score less than 9.9 is considered ‘low’, 10-19.9 is ‘moderate’, 20-34.9 is ‘serious’, 35-49.9 is ‘alarming’, and above 50 is ‘extremely alarming’.
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.