Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar have fared better in feeding its citizens than India, according to the 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report.
While India’s has been ranked 102nd in this year’s GHI report, Myanmar has been ranked as 69th, Nepal as 73rd and Bangladesh as 88th.
The GHI is a tool used to measure and track hunger at global, national and international levels.
It is also designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger and call for attention in those countries suffering from the worst hunger levels.
Four indicators – under nourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality- have been used to measure the scores of GHI for each country.
As per the GHI report, the GHI scores were given on a 100-point GHI Severity Scale, where 0 is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.
While the GHI score of India has been 30.3 this year, the GHI scores of Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh are 19.8, 20.8 and 25.8.
While Myanmar has been defined as a country with ‘moderate’ levels of hunger, Nepal, Bangladesh and India have been defined as ‘serious’ levels of hunger.
As per the report, Nepal and Bangladesh have made several improvements in combating hunger levels than that of India.
The report mentions that Nepal has made remarkable reduction in child stunting from 56.6 percent in 2001 to 40.1 percent in 2011.
Nepal has increased household assets, increased maternal education, improved sanitation, successfully implemented health and nutrition programs, including antenatal and neonatal care, the report added.
The report stated that child stunting in Bangladesh has reduced from 58.5 percent in 1997 to 40.2 percent in 2011.
The study attributed the decrease primarily to rising household wealth associated with pro-poor economic growth and gains in parental education, as well as health, sanitation, and demographic factors reflecting decreased fertility rates.
India’s child wasting rate is 20.8 per cent and child stunting rate is 37.9 per cent, the report added.
“In India, just 9.6 percent of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a minimum acceptable diet,” the report added.
“As of 2015-16, 90 percent of Indian households used an improved drinking water source while 39 percent of households had no sanitation facilities,” the report further added.
The report mentioned that open defecation is still practiced in India although new latrines have been constructed as a part of ‘Clean India’ campaign.