India ranks 66th on global hunger index

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi , Oct 14 | Updated: Oct 16 2008, 05:11am hrs
India has been ranked 66th in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for the year 2008 developed by the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

In South Asia, countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan have fared better than India in their drive against hunger. Even countries like Laos , Cambodia and Burkina Faso have been ranked higher than India.

IFPRI noted that world has made slow progress in reducing food insecurity since 1990, with dramatic difference among regions and countries. In nearly two decades since 1990, some regionsSouth and Southeast Asia , the near East and north Africa, the Latin America and the Caribbeanhave made significant headway in improving food security.

Nevertheless, the GHI remains high in South Asia . The GHI is similarly high in sub-Saharan Africa where progress has been marginal since 1990.

The sub-Saharan Africa with Congo , Eritrea , Burundi , Niger and Sierra Leone are at the bottom of the list. IFPRI is one of the 15 affiliated institutions of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

According to IFPRI Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the regions with the highest GHI scores and the highest poverty rates Hunger is closely tied to poverty and countries with high levels of hunger are overwhelmingly low or low-middle-income countries, it said. The report, however, highlighted the countries and regions facing the greatest risk in the current context of high food prices. It listed 33 countries having extremely alarming levels of hunger.

The index shows that while South Asia has made rapid progress in combating hunger, sub-Saharan Africa has made only marginal progress.

For the hungry and malnourished people in these regions, rising food prices pose serious threats. People who already had too little food for a healthy life are now finding that they can afford even less, it said.

This is the third year that IFPRI has calculated multidimensional measure of global hunger global taking into account over 80 developing and least developed countries, taking into consideration proportion of undernourished population, prevalence of underweight in children under 5 and the proportion of children dying before the age of 5.