India moves up 8 places on Global Hunger Index

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 29, 2014 Published on October 29, 2014

One-third of India’s women and children under the age of five are underweight and face micronutrient deficiencies. The country, however, is making progress against hunger, as India moved up eight places from last year on the Global Hunger Index (GHI) to rank 55th out of 76 nations.

“India is home to a third of the world’s stunted children. There is significant opportunity for us to help our children reach their full potential not only through direct feeding programmes but also through improved access to toilets and empowerment of their mothers,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, Vice-President (Research & Policy), Public Health Foundation of India.

He was speaking at a two-day ‘Together for Nutrition 2014’ conference held by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), here on Wednesday, jointly hosted by ‘Transform Nutrition’ (TN) and POSHAN, looks to trigger leadership for nutrition at various geographical levels.

Steady growth

India’s improved standing on the GHI index was almost driven by key data released by the Government, said Purnima Menon, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI and Co-Director, POSHAN.

“Broadly, the reason for the decline was steady economic growth due to which numerous social sector programmes were initiated, even if the implementation has been shaky,” she told reporters.

Marie Ruel, Director of IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition division, said, “The data for India had not been updated so what was being used prior to this report was from 2005. The big change is mainly due to the new data and it’s a 10-year change.”

The 2014 GHI report ranked nations on three equally weighted indicators, among them the proportion of underweight children under the age of five. It mentions that the underweight children data it used for India was provisional, based on a survey conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development with UNICEF support in 2013-14. The national underweight estimate was the first in eight years and at 30.7 per cent, it was a substantial fall from 43.5 per cent as recorded in 2005-06.

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Published on October 29, 2014
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