Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

Agri Ministry questions Global Hunger reports’ methodology


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: GHI

Mains level: Poverty and Hunger

Union Minister of State for Agriculture has questioned the methodology and data accuracy of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, which has placed India at 94th (out of 107 countries) rank in 2020.

About GHI

  • GHI is a peer-reviewed annual report, jointly published by Concern Worldwide, an Ireland-based humanitarian group, and Welthungerhilfe, a Germany-based NGO.
  • It is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels.
  • It says the aim of publishing the report is to trigger action to reduce hunger around the world.
  • According to the GHI website, the data for the indicators come from the United Nations and other multilateral agencies, including the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.

Various indicators used

  1. UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);
  2. CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);
  3. CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and
  4. 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).

What is the concern?

  • India was ranked below countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar when it was among the top 10 food-producing countries in the world.

Actual scenario

  • The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) compiled in 2017-18 showed an improvement of 4%, 3.7% and 2.3% in wasted, stunted and malnourished children respectively.
  • The first-ever CNNS was commissioned by the government in 2016 and was conducted from 2016-18, led by the Union Health Ministry, in collaboration with the UNICEF.
  • The findings were published in 2019. CNNS includes only nutrition data, whereas NFHS encompasses overall health indicators.

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