India with a score of 28.7 ranked 111th of 125 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2023, according to a report released on Thursday.
The index, published by non-governmental organisations Concern Worldwide and Welt Hunger Hilfe, categorised India’s severity of hunger as serious.
The GHI ranked Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka at 102nd, 81st, 69th, and 60th, respectively. In 2022, India ranked 107th out of 121.
The only countries that fare worse than India include, besides Afghanistan, the Carribbean nation of Haiti and 12 sub-Saharan African countries.
The Global Hunger Index score is calculated on four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting (the share of children under the age of five with low weight for their height), child stunting (children under the age of five with low height for their age) and child mortality (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).
However, the Indian government attributed India’s low ranking on the index to a flawed methodology.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development claimed that the index was an erroneous measure of hunger and suffered 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 ministry said.
“The fourth and most important indicator ‘Proportion of Undernourished population’ is based on an opinion poll conducted on a very small sample size of 3000.”