Hunger can be defined as an uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food, the want or scarcity of food in a country. World hunger refers to the aggregated to the world level. The target set at the 1996 World Food Summit was to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015 from their number in 1990-92.The estimated number of undernourished people in developing countries was 824 million in 1990-92.In 2009 the number had climbed to 1.02 billion.
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Global Hunger Index 2011 India’s food security continues to be alarming. It ranks 67 of the 81 countries of the world with the worst food security status. This means that there are only 14 countries in the world whose citizens have worst nutritional status.
The GHI is based on 3 indicators – the proportion of the population that is undernourished, the proportion of children who are under weight and under five child mortality.
India’s GHI for 2011 was 23.7 lower than it was 15 years ago giving it a rank of 67.Pakistan,Nepal,Rwanda and Sudan did better than India while Bangladesh, Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo were countries which are worse than India.
India is being among the countries with the least improvement in last 10 years. It has however moved from having an extremely alarming food security situation to alarming.China, Brazil and India are among the countries that have more than halved their GHI scores over the last decade.
The Indian government is not able to introduce a Food Security Bill in the monsoon session and there is little agreement over who qualifies as poor enough to receive subsidized food grain. There is growing volatility in global food markets which is due to three factors: increasing use of food crops for biofuels, extreme weather conditions and climate change and increased volume of trading in commodity future markets.
The report says, ‘The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, to purchase enough food.’