1 in 5 Indian children ‘wasted’, says GHI

1 in 5 Indian children ‘wasted’, says GHI

News:

  1. India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index dropped three places to 103 out of 119 countries recently released 2018 report titled “Forced Migration and Hunger”.

Important Facts:

  1. About Global Hunger Index
  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region.
  • Calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the GHI highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger.
  • The 2018 scores in the report reflects the data from 2013-2017.
  1. Main indicators of GHI
  • Undernourishment: The share of the population that is undernourished i.e. whose caloric intake is insufficient.
  • Child wasting: The share of children under the age of five who has low weight for height), are wasted i.e. who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition
  • Child stunting: The share of children under the age of five who are stunted i.e. have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.
  • Child mortality: The mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).
  1. Findings of the report:
  • Global trends: The level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide fell to 20.9, down from 29.2 in the year 2000.
  • Undernourished population:The share of the undernourished population stood at 12.3 percent in 2015–2017, down from 17.6 percent in 1999–2001.
  • Child stunting:9 percent children under five years of age were stunted based on data from 2013–2017, down from 37.1 percent in 1998–2002.
  • Child wasting: 3 percent children under-5 years were wasted, slightly down from 9.7 percent in 1998–2002.
  • Under five mortality: The under-five mortality rate was 4.2 percent as of 2016, down from 8.1 percent in 2000.
  • Pace of hunger reduction: At the pace of hunger reduction observed since 2000, approximately 50 countries will fail to reach low hunger levels by 2030; at present, 79 countries have failed to reach that designation according to the 2018 GHI.
  • Improvements: Few countries have made improvement since 2000. Angola, Ethiopia and Rwanda, which had extremely alarming hunger levels in 2000, have seen reductions in their GHI scores of 20 points or more.
  • Worst performing: Globally the only country with a higher prevalence of child wasting is the war-torn nation of South Sudan with prevalence of 28%.
  • Central African Republic (CAR) is suffering from an extremely alarming level of hunger with highest 2018 GHI score of 53.7 and has been suffering from instability, sectarian violence, and civil war since 2012.
  • In Latin America and the Caribbean (GHI score of just 9.0), the Caribbean island nation of Haiti is one of just seven countries with GHI scores that are considered alarming or extremely alarming
  • Child wasting is high across South Asia, constituting a “critical public health emergency”, according to UN organisations.
  • The report notes that wasting rates are highest for infants aged 0 to 5 months, suggesting that attention to birth outcomes and breastfeeding is important.
  1. India’s case
  • Ranking: India has been ranked at 103 out of 119 countries in the Index, with GHI score being 31.1 and hunger levels in the country categorised as “serious”.
  • Improvement: India’s ranking has been dropped three places from last year. However there is a slight improvement from 2010’s score of 32.2.
  • Undernourished: The percentage of undernourished people in the population has dropped from 18.2% in 2000 to 14.8% in 2018.
  • Child stunting and mortality: The child mortality rate has halved from 9.2% to 4.3%, while child stunting has dropped from 54.2% to 38.4% over the same period.
  • Child wasting: At least one in five Indian children under the age of five are ‘wasted’ and this trend has worsened in comparison to previous reference years. It stood at 17.1% in 2000, and increased to 20% in 2005 and 21% in 2018.
  • Comparison with worst performer: India performs better than only war-torn Sudan in child wasting aspect.
  1. Insufficient progress to reach Sustainable Development Goals
  • The slow pace of improvements in hunger levels raises apprehensions about achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, which aims to end hunger, ensure food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.
  • As per the index, the world is still far from a “world without malnutrition”. The index reveals insufficient progress to reach the World Health Assembly targets for 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030.
  • Accelerated progress will be needed to achieve SDG targets in child survival.
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