The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) on Saturday rubbished the Global Hunger Index 2022 report which ranked India 107 out of 121 countries. According to the report, India’s child-wasting rate is 19.3 per cent, which is the highest in the world. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a mechanism to measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
With a score of 29.1, the level of hunger in India has been labelled “serious”. In Asia, only Afghanistan – with a rank of 109 – is behind India. Countries like Pakistan (99), Bangladesh (84), Nepal (81) and Sri Lanka (64) are all ahead of India.
“India’s child wasting rate, at 19.3 per cent, is the highest of any country in the world and drives up the region’s average owing to India’s large population,” the report claimed.
In 2021, India was at 101 position out of 116 countries, while in 2020 the country was placed at 94.
In a statement, MWCD said the index is an “erroneous measure of hunger” and suffers from “serious methodological issues”.
“Three out of the four indicators used for calculation of the index are related to the health of Children and cannot be representative of the entire population. The fourth and most important indicator estimate of Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) population is based on an opinion poll conducted on a very small sample size of 3000,” the ministry said in the statement.
“A consistent effort is yet again visible to taint India’s image as a Nation that does not fulfill the food security and nutritional requirements of its population. Misinformation seems to be the hallmark of the annually released Global Hunger Index,” it added.
The statement also pointed out that the report deliberately ignored efforts made by the Narendra Modi government to ensure food security for the people of India, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taking a one-dimensional view, the report lowers India’s rank based on the estimate of Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) population for India at 16.3%. The FAO estimate is based on ‘Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)’ Survey Module conducted through Gallop World Poll, which is an ‘opinion poll’ based on ‘8 questions’ with a sample size of ‘3000 respondents’. The data collected from a miniscule sample for a country of India’s size through FIES has been used to compute PoU value for India which is not only wrong & unethical, it also reeks of obvious bias. The publishing agencies of the Global Hunger Report, Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, have evidently not done their due diligence before releasing the report,” it concluded.