Indians spend 4.5% of their average daily income on a plate of food, according to a new global index released the World Food Programme, a nonprofit under the United Nations.

Pakistani citizens spent 7.6% of their daily income on a plate of food, Bangladesh spent 5.4% while in Nepal this figure rose to 13%. In comparison, New Yorkers spent 0.6% of their daily income on a meal.

The global index of the relative cost of food calculated the price of a plate of food in parts of the world, and expressed it as a percentage of average daily income. It looked at the price of the meal as perceived by those purchasing it.

The unaffordability of food (as opposed to its absence) is part of the reason why hunger has been hard to beat, said the report. For example, in areas of conflict or economic collapse, the cost of a meal can be a large proportion of daily earnings (Malawi 45%, Democratic Republic of Congo 40%), and sometimes exceed it (South Sudan 155%).

Source: World Food Programme
Note: A plate of food consists of pulses, a local carbohydrate--such as rice, bread, maize meal--vegetable oil, tomatoes, onions and water.

(Patil is an analyst with IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)