Global Hunger Index 2022

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022 was released recently.

What is Global Hunger Index?

  • The GHI has been released since 2000 by the European NGOs – Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
  • It aims to track prevalence of global hunger by region and by country.
  • A low score means the country will be ranked higher, implying a better performance.
  • Its ultimate aim is to help the world achieve “Zero Hunger by 2030” – one of the SDGs of the United Nations. It does not rank certain high income countries.
  • It focuses on 4 main parameters – undernourishment (inadequate food), child wasting (acute undernutrition among children), child stunting (chronic undernutrition) and child mortality (inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environment).
  • Countries scoring less than or equal to 9.9 on a 100-point scale will come under “low” category of hunger.
  • The “serious” category countries are those that score between 20 and 34.9 and “extremely alarming” category countries are those scoring above 50.

Highlights of the GHI

  • World is witnessing a serious setback in global efforts towards ending hunger because of war in Ukraine, climate crisis and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This situation is exacerbated by underlying factors of hunger like structural inequality and power asymmetries in the food system.
  • Goal of “Zero Hunger” will not be achieved because of these challenges.
  • An estimated 46 countries will not achieve even a “low” level of hunger by the end of this decade.
  • In 2022, the global hunger (measured by a GHI score of 18.2) is categorized as moderate. This is a decrease from the 2014 value (19.1).
  • Since 2014, hunger has spiked in 20 countries with moderate, serious or alarming scores.
  • Increased undernourishment has made a comeback after decades of decline. An estimated 828 million people are undernourished in 2021 – a significant reversal of decades of progress.
  • Child wasting rate has stagnated and child mortality rate and child stunting rates continue to decrease.
  • Hunger levels in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa (top 2 regions with highest hunger levels) are serious.
  • South Asia has the highest child stunting rate and highest child wasting rate in the world.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest undernourishment rate and child mortality rate in the world.
  • Climate change is the major hurdle that will prevent the world from achieving “Zero Hunger” target.

India’s performance

  • Out of 121 countries, India’s GHI ranking fell from 101 in 2021 to 107 this year.
  • It is ranked behind its neighbors – Nepal (81), Pakistan (99), Sri Lanka (64) and Bangladesh (84).
  • Afghanistan, at the 109th position, is the only Asian country ranked behind India.
  • India’s score in all four indicators was poor, especially for the prevalence of child wasting.
  • Child wasting has increased from 15.1 in 2014 to 19.3 and child undernourishment increased from 14.8 in 2014 to 16.3.
  • India has the highest child wasting rate in the world – higher than it was in 1998-1999.
  • India improved its performance in other two indicators – child mortality (3.3) and child stunting (35.5).

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