Bangladesh ranked 88th of 119 on global hunger index

Lester Mason
October 13, 2017

According to the report, India's rank at 2017 GHI is worse than its neighbors, Nepal (72), Myanmar (77), Bangladesh (88), Sri Lanka (84) and China (29). GHI data further showed that more than a fifth (21%) of the children in the country are wasted, with low weight for height.

Of the 19 South, East and Southeast Asian countries ranked in the report, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and North Korea have the worst Global Hunger Index scores in Asia, reported BS.

The country has slipped three notches since last year's rank of 97.

With a global hunger index (GHI) score of 31.4, India is at the high end of the "serious" category, the report said, adding, "given that three quarters of South Asia's population reside in India, the situation in that country strongly influences South Asia's regional score".

Chile, Cuba and Turkey, with a score of less than 5, ranked the best among developing nations.

Only in three other countries Djibouti, Sri Lanka and South Sudan are more than 20% of children wasted.

India's wasting rate has not substantially improved over the last 25 years, even though the child stunting rate has improved over this period.

Ranked 100 among 119 developing countries with global hunger index (GHI) score of 31.4, the report states that India's hunger problem is "serious".

India's poor score, a slip by three ranks, has come about despite the fact the proportion of undernourished in the population in 1991-93 was 21.7%, and has been steadily going down - in 1999-2001 it was 17.2%, in 2007-09 it was 17.2%, and in 2014-16 it is 14.5. However, as for the prevalence of wasting in children under five years, there is, however, no improvement.

"Even with the massive scale up of national nutrition-focused programs in India, drought and structural deficiencies have left a large number of poor in India at risk of malnourishment in 2017", said P.K. Joshi, IFPRI's South Asia director. "(1) the timely introduction of complementary foods for young children (that is, the transition away from exclusive breastfeeding), which declined from 52.7 percent to 42.7 percent between 2006 and 2016; (2) the share of children between 6 and 23 months old who receive an adequate diet-a mere 9.6 percent for the country; and (3) household access to improved sanitation facilities-a likely factor in child health and nutrition-which stood at 48.4 percent as of 2016".

The report ranked 119 countries in the developing world, almost half of which have "extremely alarming", "alarming" or "serious" hunger levels.

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