Global Hunger Index 2023
In the latest Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2023, India has been ranked 111 out of 125 countries, marking a decline from its 107th position in 2022. The GHI is an annual assessment of hunger levels globally, published by Irish NGO Concern Worldwide and German NGO Welt Hunger Hilfe.
Key Findings of Global Hunger Index 2023
- The Global Hunger Index 2023 report highlights that India has the highest child wasting rate in the world, standing at 18.7 percent during 2018–22, which signifies acute undernutrition.
- The rate of undernourishment in India is reported at 16.6 percent, and the under-five mortality rate is 3.1 percent.
- The prevalence of anemia among women aged between 15 and 24 years in India is alarmingly high at 58.1 percent.
- India’s overall GHI score is 28.7, categorizing the hunger situation in the country as “serious.”
Questionable Methodology: Government Critique
The Women and Child Development Ministry, a key governmental body, has raised serious concerns about the GHI 2023 report. According to the ministry, the index suffers from “serious methodological issues and shows a malafide intent.” Their primary contentions include:
Limited Scope: Child-Centric Indicators
- The government contends that three of the four indicators used in the GHI calculation pertain solely to child health. They argue that such indicators cannot accurately represent the entire population’s hunger status.
- The ministry asserts that the report’s focus on child wasting and child mortality fails to capture the broader complexities of hunger in India.
Sample Size Challenge
- The most crucial indicator, the “Proportion of Undernourished Population,” is based on a small-scale opinion poll of only 3,000 individuals. The government challenges the legitimacy of drawing nationwide conclusions from such a limited sample size.
Discrepancy in Data: Contradictions with Poshan Tracker
- The government highlights a significant disparity between the GHI 2023’s claim of an 18.7% child wasting rate and the consistent data on the Poshan Tracker, indicating a much lower rate, below 7.2%.
- They question the accuracy of the GHI figures and their alignment with the real-time data collected through national tracking mechanisms.
Causation vs. Correlation
- The government challenges the assumption that child mortality, one of the GHI indicators, is directly linked to hunger. They assert that child mortality is influenced by multifaceted factors, making it an insufficient metric for evaluating hunger levels.
Comparison with Neighbors: A Comparative Lens
In comparison to neighboring countries, India’s GHI ranking appears stark:
- India: 111th
- Pakistan: 102nd
- Bangladesh: 81st
- Nepal: 69th
- Sri Lanka: 60th
India’s ranking pales in comparison to its neighbors, raising concerns about the nation’s ability to tackle hunger effectively.
Global Hunger Index 2023 top country and Worst Performers Country
- In the Global Hunger Index (GHI) of 2023, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, China, and Croatia have emerged as the top-performing countries, showcasing their commendable efforts in addressing hunger and malnutrition. These nations have made significant strides in ensuring food security and nutrition for their populations.
- Conversely, at the other end of the spectrum, a group of countries faces substantial challenges in combating hunger. Chad, Niger, Lesotho, Congo, Yemen, Madagascar, and the Central African Republic find themselves at the bottom of the GHI rankings for 2023, signifying the pressing need for comprehensive initiatives to alleviate hunger and improve nutritional conditions in these regions.