‘Shocking, unscientific methodology’: India slams Global Hunger Index

India claims that the methodology used by FAO was “unscientific” and said the assessment for the Global Hunger Index was done “telephonically”
India is now behind neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, according to the Global Hunger Index that is based on estimates by the UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (AP)
India is now behind neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, according to the Global Hunger Index that is based on estimates by the UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). (AP)
Updated on Oct 16, 2021 03:29 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

New Delhi: The Union government on Friday said the fall in India’s rank on Global Hunger Index was “shocking”, and alleged that the methodology used for the report was “unscientific”. The remarks came a day after India dropped to the 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021 of 116 countries, down seven places from 94th in 2020.

India is now behind neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, according to the report that is based on estimates by the UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization).

In a statement issued on Friday, the Union ministry of women and child development (WCD) said, “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 of the Global Hunger Report, Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe, have not done their due diligence before releasing the report.”

Claiming that the methodology used by FAO was “unscientific”, the ministry said the assessment was done “telephonically” by Gallup -- an American analytics and advisory company that conducts opinion polls globally.

“The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height, whereas the methodology involved here is based on a Gallup poll based on a pure telephonic estimate of the population. The report completely disregards the 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. The representativeness of even this opinion poll is doubtful for India and other countries,” it added.

The ministry further said that it was surprised by FAO’s ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021’ report, which said that Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka have not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The WCD ministry said there were as many as 13 factors that were “completely ignored” in the report.

These included government’s initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna (PMGKAY) and Atmanirbhar Bharat Scheme, and the increase in MNREGA wages, among others.

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Friday, December 03, 2021