The Global Hunger Index is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. Index scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating global hunger. This year’s scores were released recently and show India came in at 101 out of 116 countries. Only 15 countries scored worse. India is also one of 31 countries where hunger has been identified as ‘serious’. In addition, India was behind the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, at 92nd, and Nepal and Bangladesh who shared the 76th spot. Those who fare worse than India include Afghanistan (103), Nigeria (103), Yemen (115) and Somalia (116). That isn’t a badge of honour. It shows India has a lot of issues to address.
Overall, this latest Global Hunger Index points to a dire hunger situation fuelled by the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasingly protracted violent conflicts such as those witnessed in Yemen and Afghanistan. The projected goal entitled ‘Progress toward Zero Hunger by 2030’ is showing signs of stagnation- Even going in the wrong direction altogether. Based on the values of the four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality, the GHI reckons the problem is deteriorating. After decades of improvement, the global prevalence of undernourishment is now increasing.
The GHI reports it is possible to break the destructive links between conflict, poverty, and hunger. This will start building resilience even in situations of conflict and extreme vulnerability. The first step is overcoming man-made problems. We await 2022’s statistics.