The Ministry of Women and Child Development said on Friday that the Global Hunger Index (GHI), which dropped India to the 101st position from the 94th in 2020, was “shocking” and “devoid of ground reality”.
In its findings released earlier this week, GHI said India trails behind neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Of the 116 countries ranked this year, eighteen countries, including China, Brazil and Kuwait, share the top rank with a GHI score of less than five. The report, prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe, termed the level of hunger in India “alarming”.
“It is shocking to find that the Global Hunger Report 2021 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate on proportion of undernourished population, which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues. The publishing agencies…have not done their due diligence before releasing the report,” said the Ministry, calling the methodology used by the agencies unscientific.
“They have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup. The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height…The report completely disregards Government’s massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid period, verifiable data on which are available. The opinion poll does not have a single question on whether the respondent received any food support from the Government or other sources,” it said.
It also raised questions on improved rankings of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, which seem to be unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years.