India ranked 100th among 119 as hunger gets worse

The global hunger index report of Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ranks India at 100 out of 119 countries.

India has major problem of hunger which has caused large-scale child malnutrition.

"India is ranked 100th out of 119 countries, and has the third highest score in all of Asia - only Afghanistan and Pakistan are ranked worse", IFPRI said in a statement on Thursday.

Data from the report showed that India's rank (100) was lower than all its neighbours-Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Bangladesh (88), Sri Lanka (84) and China (29)-except Pakistan (106).

The report further said that India's poor score is one of the main factors pushing South Asia to the category of the worst performing region on the GHI scale this year.

India ties with the countries like Djibouti and Rwanda for the 100th rank, and with a score of 31.4 of 100 (with 0 being best and 100 the worst), India's 2017 GHI falls at the high end of the "serious" category.

On India, the report said that the country's top 1% own more than 50% of its wealth, India is the world's second largest food producer, yet it is also home to the second highest population of under-nourished in the world. Even North Korea (93) and Iraq (78) fared better in hunger parameters and GHI rankings, the report. "As of 2015-16, more than a fifth (21%) of children. suffer from wasting (low-weight-for- height) - up from 20% in 2005-2006", IFPRI said.

Other than India, only three other countries, Djibouti, Sri Lanka and South Sudan have more than 20% of their children wasted. "But the country has made progress in other areas: Its child stunting rate, while still relatively high at 38.4 percent, has decreased in each of the reference periods in this report, down from 61.9 percent in 1992", the report adds.

Citing a study, the report states India has implemented a "massive scale-up" of two national programs that address nutrition-the Integrated Child Development Services and the National Health Mission-but these have yet to achieve adequate coverage.

"While the world has committed to reaching Zero Hunger by 2030, the fact that over 20 million people are now at risk of starvation shows how far we are from realizing this vision", the report adds. The 2017 GHI has been jointly published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe.

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