India has slipped from 95th rank in 2010 to 102nd in 2019 on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), with the increase in prevalence of wasting among children under five contributing the most to the country’s poor performance.
International Day for Eradication of Poverty is being observed today, to raise awareness about the need to eradicate poverty and destitution across the world, particularly in developing countries.
This year’s theme of the day is ‘Acting Together to Empower Children, their Families and Communities to End Poverty.’
Over a longer-term horizon, the fall in India’s rank is sharper: From 83rd out of 113 countries in 2000 to 102nd out of 117 now.
The improvement in India’s GHI score, too, has decelerated.
The improvement from 38.9 in 2005 to 32 in 2010 was followed by a change from 32 to 30.3 between 2010 and 2019.
Seventeen countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores less than five.
Countries such as Ethiopia and Rwanda have shown notable progress, the GHI report said.
Poverty is far from being eradicated. It is estimated 23.6% of Indian population, or about 276 million people, lived below $1.25 per day on purchasing power parity.
Poverty alone does not lead to malnutrition, but it seriously affects the availability of adequate amounts of nutritious food for the most vulnerable populations.
Over 90 percent of malnourished people live in developing countries.
In India, just 9.6 per cent of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a minimum acceptable diet.
Non-availability of food in markets, difficult access to markets due to lack of transportation, and insufficient financial resources are all factors contributing to the food insecurity of the most vulnerable populations.
People are increasingly dependent on international markets for all or part of their food supply, particularly between harvest periods.