India is ranked a poor 65th in battling hunger, according to the Global Hunger Index for 2009.
The report, released on Wednesday by the International Food Policy Research Institute, German aid group Welthungerhilfe and Irish aid group Concern Worldwide said the number of malnourished people was rising as a result of recent events.
“The current situation of food crisis, financial crunch and global recession has further undermined the food security and the livelihoods of the poor,” it said.
The index ranks countries on under-nourishment, prevalence of child malnutrition and rates of child mortality.
It said 21 per cent of the Indian population was undernourished (between 2003 and 2005), 43.5 per cent Indian children under the age of five were underweight (between 2002 and 2007) and the under five-years age infant mortality rate in 2007 was 7.2 per cent.
In September, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh projected a food stock of 50 million tonne. Yet, close to 300 million Indians go without food every day.