New Delhi: India was 94th out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the ‘severe’ hunger category with experts blaming poor implementation processes, lack of effective monitoring, a silent approach to tackling malnutrition and poor performance by large states behind the low rankings.
Last year, India’s rank was 102 out of 117 countries.
Neighboring Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan are also in the ‘serious’ category, but in this year’s hunger index higher than India. While Bangladesh scored 75, Myanmar and Pakistan are in 78th and 88th position.
The report showed that Nepal is in 73rd place and Sri Lanka in 64th position in the moderate hunger category.
Seventeen countries, including China, Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the highest rank with GHI scores of less than five, the Global Hunger Index website, which tracks hunger and malnutrition, said on Friday.
According to the report, 14 percent of India’s population is malnourished.
It also showed that the country recorded a stump rate of 37.4 percent among children under five and a waste rate of 17.3 percent. The mortality rate under five years was 3.7 percent.
Waste is children with low weight for their height, which reflects acute malnutrition. Dwarfism is children under the age of five who are low for their age, reflecting chronic malnutrition.
Data from 1991 to 2014 for Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan showed that concentration among children is concentrated from households suffering from various forms of deprivation including poor dietary diversity, low levels of maternal education and domestic poverty.
During this period, India experienced a decrease in mortality rate below five, mainly driven by a decrease in deaths due to suffocation or trauma, neonatal infections, pneumonia and diarrhea, the report said.
‘However, infant mortality, caused by prematurity and low birth weight, has increased especially in poorer states and rural areas. Prevention of prematurity and low birth weight are identified as a key factor with the potential to reduce underage deaths in India, through actions such as better antenatal care, education and nutrition, as well as reduction of anemia and oral tobacco use. .
Experts believe that poor implementation processes, a lack of effective monitoring and weakened approaches to tackling malnutrition often result in poor nutrition indices.
Purnima Menon, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, said the performance of major states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh needed to be improved to see an overall change in India’s ranking.
‘The national average is heavily influenced by states like UP and Bihar. the states that actually contain a combination of high levels of malnutrition and contribute greatly to the population of the country.
‘Every fifth child born in India is in Uttar Pradesh. So if you have a high level of malnutrition in a state with a high population, it contributes a lot to the average of India. “It is therefore clear that India’s average will move slowly,” she told PTI.
Source: Gulf News