The Indian government Thursday rejected the 2023 Global Hunger Index data in which India ranked 111th out of 125 countries, calling it a flawed measure of “hunger” that does not reflect the country’s true position, reported PTI.
The Global Hunger Index suffers from “serious methodological issues and shows a malafide intent”, the Women and Child Development Ministry said
The report, by Irish NGO Concern Worldwide and German NGO Welt Hunger Hilfe, highlighted India’s child wasting rate at 18.7%, the highest globally, signalling acute undernutrition.
“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 ‘Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) population’ is based on an opinion poll conducted on a very small sample size of 3,000,” PTI quoted the Women and Child Development Ministry as saying.
Pointing towards the measurement data of children under five years uploaded on the Poshan Tracker, the government said, it has consistently increased – from 6.34 crore in April 2023 to 7.24 crore in September 2023.
“The percentage of child wasting, as seen on the Poshan Tracker, has been consistently below 7.2%, month-on-month, as compared to the value of 18.7% used for child wasting in the Global Hunger Index 2023,” the government said.
The GHI 2023 report further stated that the child stunting rate in India is 35.5%, the rate of undernourishment in the country stood at 16.6%; and under-five mortality rate at 3.1%.
Rejecting the stunting and wasting claims in GHI 2023, the government said these two indicators are outcomes of complex interactions of various other factors like sanitation, genetics, environment and utilisation of food intake apart from hunger.
The Indian government further said there is hardly any evidence that child mortality, the fourth indicator, is an outcome of hunger