India appears to have made some progress in tackling the hunger and malnutrition issue, but the situation remains "alarming" in the country on this front, according to the Global Hunger Index released in New Delhi on Tuesday.
India ranks 66th on the 2008 Global Hunger Index of 88 countries, a report released by the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said.
According to the 2008 Global Hunger Index (GHI), India's hunger rate fell to 23.7 points, from 32.5 points in 1990, while Congo showed highest hunger rate of 42.7 points at 88th place.
"The major threat of hunger is in 33 countries including India," the report said adding that rising food prices pose serious threats for malnourished people in these regions.
Other countries like Bangladesh scored 25.2 points (70th place), Pakistan 21.7 points (61th), Nepal 20.6 points (57th), Sri Lanka 15 points (39th), Thailand 9.9 points (23rd), China 7.1 points (15th) and Mauritius 5 points (1st), it said.
The report noted that countries that have scored between 20-30 points are in an alarming condition. The index ranked countries on a 100-point scale, with zero being the best score having no hunger and 100 being the worst.
"Hunger is closely tied to poverty and countries with high levels of hunger are overwhelmingly low or low-middle income countries," the report said, adding that hunger rate in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa remain highest since 1990.
However, the global poverty rate has fallen by almost one fifth, to 15.2 points in 2008 GHI from 18.7 points in 1990 GHI, due to progress in children's nutrition, the report said.
Third year in a row, IFPRI has compiled the hunger index along with Germany-based Welthungerlife and Concern Worldwide.