Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020: All you need to know

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool that comprehensively measures and tracks hunger at global, regional, and national levels. Let us have a look at India's rank and about Global Hunger Index 2020 in detail.
Oct 19, 2020 14:31 IST
Global Hunger Index
Global Hunger Index

In the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020, India has been ranked at 94 out of 107 countries. India has a level of hunger that is serious with a score of 27.2.

About Global Hunger Index
Every year the Global Hunger Index is jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. In 2006, it was first produced and every October, it is published. The 2020th edition is the 15th edition of the Global Hunger Index. The objective is to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels.  

How is the Global Hunger Index (GHI) calculated?

Every year, GHI scores are calculated to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. It is basically designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions. It also calls attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and there is a need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.

With the three-step process, GHI scores are calculated that draws on available data from several sources and captures the multidimensional nature of hunger. 

For each country, first, values are determined for four indicators. 

1. Undernourishment: Share of the population whose caloric intake is insufficient.
2. Child wasting: Share of children under the age of 5 that is who have low weight for their height and reflects acute undernutrition.
3. Child Stunting: Share of children under the age of 5 that is who have low weight for their age and reflects chronic undernutrition.
4. Child Mortality:  Under the age of 5, the mortality rate of children that is in part, it is a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.

List of India’s neighbouring countries

About scoring
Based on the values of four indicators, the Global Hunger Index determines the hunger on a 100-point scale in which 0 is the based possible score that is no hunger, and 100 is the worst. The GHI score for each country is classified by severity from low to extremely alarming.

Global scenario of GHI

Across the world Hunger is represented by a GHI score of 18.2 that is a moderate level, down from a 2000 GHI score of 28.2 that is serious.

Factors are:

Due to COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn also due to a massive outbreak of desert locusts in the Horn Africa and several other crises are enhancing food and nutrition insecurity for millions of people. 

Therefore, it needs to note that 2020 GHI scores do not reflect the impact of COVId-19 on hunger and undernutrition.

On top of the existing hunger, the above-mentioned crises come in top which is caused due to conflict, climate extremes, and economic shocks that are random and unpredictable events.

If we see the performance region-wise then Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia has the highest hunger and undernutrition levels across the world regions. The 2020 GHI scores for them are 27.8 and 26.0 respectively which indicates serious conditions.

Also, to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal, the world is not on track. The second Sustainable Development Goal is also known as Zero Hunger for short by 2030.

India scenario

If we see the overall performance the score of India is 27.2 which is a "serious" level of hunger.

In the Index, India ranks 94 out of 107 countries. India's rank in 2019 was 102 out of 117 countries.

Comparison of India with other Countries:

India is behind Nepal (73), Pakistan (88), Bangladesh (75), Indonesia (70) among others.

Do you know that out of total of 107 countries, only 13 countries are far worse than India such as Rwanda (97), Nigeria (98), Afghanistan (99), Liberia (102), Mozambique (103), Chad (107) among others.

Performance Indicators

- Undernourishment: From 2017-2019, 14% of India's population is undernourished.  During 2011-13, it was 16.3%.
- Child Wasting: During 2015-19, it is 17.3% and from 2010-14, it was 15.1%.
- Child Stunting: It has improved significantly and is around 34.7% from 54% in 2000.
- Child Mortality: It is 3.7% and in 2012, it was 5.2%.

Some facts to remember

- According to the 2020 Global Hunger Index, worldwide hunger is at a moderate level. Therefore, it underlines that this average is a major challenge in particular regions, countries, and communities. 

- According to 2020 GHI scores, 3 countries have alarming levels of hunger namely Chad, Timor-Leste, and Madagascar.

- In 8 countries, Hunger is also considered to be alarming namely Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It is based on provisional categorisations.

- Countries show wide disparities within their borders in a range of different indicators of hunger and along several lines such as wealth, location, ethnicity, and sex.

- Child mortality in Africa South of the Sahara is exceptionally high.

- The largest number of undernourished people are in South Asia in the world.

- As of 2019,  one in three children was stunted in both Africa South of the Sahara, and South Asia.

- The high GHI score in Africa South of the Sahara is driven up by the region’s large share of people who are undernourished.

- In the regions of Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia, hunger is highest. The 2020 GHI scores are 27.8 and 26.0, respectively.

- In recent years there is a decline but still, child mortality in South Asia is unacceptably high. As improvements in child nutrition are required.

Therefore we can say that several parts of the world are suffering from unacceptable levels of hunger. As per the current trajectory, the goal of achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 will not be fully achieved. There is an impact of COVID-19 pandemic which is reducing food and nutrition security across the world with additional effects expected into the future. So, progress has to be made in the past in various parts of the world and let's hope for better in the future.

Source: globalhungerindex.org

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