Global Report Raises Hunger Alarm For India

The International Food Policy Research Institute has released the 2016 Global Hunger Index report, now in its 11th year, that ranks countries based on four key indicators: undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting. The 2016 report ranked 118 countries in the developing world, almost half of which have alarming hunger levels.

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According to the report, India has reduced its Global Hunger Index score by a quarter since 2000. It is placed 97th out of 118 countries in the Global Hunger Index behind Iran, Iraq, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

malnourishmentThe data show that two in five Indian children under the age of five years are stunted, or too short for their age. In the early 1990s, over 60 per cent of Indian children were stunted.  

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In Asia, the highest hunger levels are found in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Pakistan, North Korea and India. India’s neighbours including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar have better Global Hunger Index scores.

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As per the government of India, 22% of the population lives below the poverty line. At the same time, it is home to 84 of the world’s 1,810 billionaires (Forbes 2016). India’s top 1% own more than 50% of the country’s wealth, shows report.

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It notes that India is the world’s second largest food producer. Yet the country is home to the second-highest population of undernourished people in the world, according to Food and Agriculture Organization report of 2015.

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“Countries must accelerate the pace at which they are reducing hunger or we will fail to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal. Ending global hunger is certainly possible, but it’s up to all of us that we set the priorities right,”  said International Food Policy Research Institute Director General Shenggen Fan.

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