News: Global Hunger Index 2019 has been released.
About Global Hunger Index (GHI)
- It is a peer-reviewed annual report, jointly published by Ireland’s Concern Worldwide and Germany’s Welthungerhilfe. It calculates the levels of hunger and under nutrition worldwide.
- The index was first published in 2006. It was initially published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Welthungerhilfe.
- The four indicators for the index are
- Child stunting (the share of children under five years who have a low height for their age),
- Child wasting (the share of children under five years who have a low weight for their age) and
- Child mortality rate under 5 years of age.
- GHI scores countries on a 100-point “severity scale”, where zero is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.
- Values less than 10 reflect low hunger, values from 20 to 34 .9 indicate serious hunger; values from 35 to 49.9 are alarming; and values of 50 or more are extremely alarming.
- The focus of GHI 2019 is Climate Change and hunger which seeks to explore the impact of extreme weather on food production, nutrition and food security. In 2019, 117 countries have been assessed.
Key takeaways from GHI 2019
- 17 countries with 2019 GHI scores of less than 5 have not been assigned individual ranks, but rather have been collectively ranked 1–17 as differences between their scores are minimal. Some of the countries include Uruguay, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba, etc.
- Central African Republic has been ranked the worst (117th) followed by Yemen and Chad.
- At the regional level, South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara have the highest 2019 GHI scores in the world, at 29.3 and 28.4, respectively indicating serious levels of hunger.
- Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America and the Caribbean, East and Southeast Asia, and the Near East and North Africa range from 6.6 to 13.3, indicating low or moderate hunger levels.
- Nine countries of concern were omitted due to lack of data, including Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.
- The report has warned that the progress towards a 2030 zero hunger target (SDG 2) that was agreed upon by leaders across the words was “under threat”.
- India has been ranked102nd out of 117 qualifying countries. With a score of 30.3, India suffers from a level of hunger that is serious. India’s ranking in 2018 was 103rd out of 119 countries.
- The child wasting rate in India stands at 20.8% which, according to the index, is the highest wasting rate of any country studied for the GHI report.
- The child stunting rate, at 37.9%, has also been termed as very high.
- Further, when it comes to infants aged six months to 23 months, only 9.6 percent of them in India are fed a “minimum acceptable diet”.
- Neighbouring countries like Nepal (73rd), Sri Lanka (66th), Bangladesh (88th), Myanmar (69th) and Pakistan (94th), although all in the ‘serious’ hunger category, have performed better than India. China (25th) has moved to a ‘low’ severity category.