The 2012 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report—the seventh in an annual series—presents a multidimensional measure of global, regional, and national hunger. It shows that progress in reducing the proportion of hungry people in the world has been tragically slow. According to the index, hunger on a global scale remains “serious.” The 2012 GHI report also focuses particularly on how to ensure sustainable food security under conditions of land, water, and energy stress. The stark reality is that the world needs to produce more food with fewer resources, while eliminating wasteful practices and policies.
In the coming decades food security will be increasingly challenged by land, water, and energy scarcity. To improve poor people’s nutrition and food security in this environment, we will need to make a diverse range of foods more available and accessible, identify and address wasteful practices and policies, and ensure that local communities have greater control over and access to productive resources. In other words, we need to build a sustainable world, where the degradation of ecosystems is halted or reversed and all people have access to food, clean water, and modern energy and are empowered to use them for their own well-being.
The report ‘Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2012’ by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is based on three equally weighted indicators, namely undernourishment (proportion of undernourished people as percentage of population), child underweight and child mortality. This report mentions that India has lagged behind in improving its GHI score despite strong economic growth along with the statement that GHI data is based partly on outdated data.
The approach in dealing with the nutrition challenges has been two pronged: First is the Multi-sectoral approach for accelerated action on the determinants of malnutrition in targeting nutrition in schemes/ programmes of all the sectors. The second approach is the direct and specific interventions targeted towards the vulnerable groups such as children below 6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating mothers.
The Government has accorded high priority to the issue of malnutrition especially among children and women including young girls and is implementing several schemes/programmes through State Governments/UT Administrations. The schemes/programmes include the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) namely SABLA, Indira Gandhi Matritva SahyogYojna (IGMSY) as direct targeted interventions. Besides, indirect multi-sectoral interventions include Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), National Horticulture Mission, National Food Security Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, National Rural Drinking Water Programme etc. All these schemes have potential to address one or other aspect of Nutrition.