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Global Hunger Index 2022

  • 15 Oct 2022
  • 10 min read

For Prelims: Global Hunger Index, Child wasting, stunting, mortality and undernourishment, India’s initiatives to eradicate hunger, NFHS - 5.

For Mains: India’s performance in Global Hunger Index, Status of Hunger and Malnutrition in India, Relation of Hunger and Poverty, India’s initiatives to eradicate hunger and their progress.

Why in News?

Barring the war-torn Afghanistan, India has performed worse than all the countries in the South Asian region in the Global Hunger Index 2022. It has ranked 107 out of 121 countries.

What is the Global Hunger Index?

  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels.
  • GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators:
    • Undernourishment
    • Child stunting
    • Child wasting
    • Child mortality
  • The GHI score is calculated on a 100-point scale reflecting the severity of hunger - zero is the best score (implies no hunger) and 100 is the worst.
  • The GHI is prepared by European NGOs of Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
  • The GHI is an annual report and each set of GHI scores uses data from a 5-year period. The 2022 GHI scores are calculated using data from 2017 through 2021.

What is the Performance of Countries on GHI 2022?

  • Global Progress: Globally, the progress against hunger has largely stagnated in recent years, with a global score of 18.2 in 2022 as compared to 19.1 in 2014, there is only a slight improvement. However, the 2022 GHI score is still considered “moderate”.
  • Top and Worst Performers:
    • Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, China and Croatia are the top five countries in GHI 2022.
    • Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Central African Republic and Yemen are the countries ranked at the bottom of the index.
  • India and Neighboring Countries: Among the South Asian countries, India (107) is ranked below Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99).
    • India has a score of 29.1 which places it under ‘serious’ category.
    • Afghanistan (109) is the only country in South Asia that performs worse than India on the index.
    • China, with a score of less than 5, has topped the chart, topped the chart, together with 16 other countries.
  • India’s Performance in the Four Indicators:
    • Child Wasting: India’s child wasting rate (low weight for height), at 19.3%, is worse than the levels recorded in 2014 (15.1%) and even 2000 (17.15%).
      • It is the highest for any country in the world and drives up the region’s average owing to India’s large population.
    • Undernourishment: Prevalence of undernourishment has also risen in the country from 14.6% in 2018-2020 to 16.3% in 2019-2021.
      • It implies that 224.3 million people in India (out of 828 million globally) are considered undernourished.
      • The indicator measures the proportion of the population facing chronic deficiency of dietary energy intake.
    • Child Stunting and Mortality: India has shown improvement in child stunting and child mortality.
      • Child stunting (low height for age) has declined from 38.7% to 35.5% between 2014 and 2022.
      • Child mortality (mortality rate under the age of five) has dropped from 4.6% to 3.3% in the same comparative period.

What Other Similar Indices/Reports are There?

What are India’s Initiatives to Eradicate Hunger/Malnutrition?

  • Eat Right India Movement: An outreach activity organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for citizens to nudge them towards eating right.
  • POSHAN Abhiyan: Launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2018, it targets to reduce stunting, undernutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls).
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana: A centrally sponsored scheme executed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, is a maternity benefit programme being implemented in all districts of the country with effect from 1st January, 2017.
  • Food Fortification: Food Fortification or Food Enrichment is the addition of key vitamins and minerals such as iron, iodine, zinc, Vitamin A & D to staple foods such as rice, milk and salt to improve their nutritional content.
  • National Food Security Act, 2013: It legally entitled up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population to receive subsidised food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
  • Mission Indradhanush: It targets children under 2 years of age and pregnant women for immunisation against 12 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD).
  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme: It offers a package of six services (Supplementary Nutrition, Pre-school non-formal education, Nutrition & health education, Immunisation, Health check-up and Referral services) to children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.


UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q1. Which of the following is/are the indicator/ indicators used by IFPRI to compute the Global Hunger Index Report? (2016)

  1. Undernourishment
  2. Child stunting
  3. Child mortality

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 
(d) 1 and 3 only

Ans: (c)

Q2. Very recently, in which of the following countries have lakhs of people either suffered from severe famine/acute malnutrition or died due to starvation caused by war/ethnic conflicts? (2018)

(a) Angola and Zambia
(b) Morocco and Tunisia 
(c) Venezuela and Colombia 
(d) Yemen and South Sudan

Ans: (d)

Q3. Which of the following are the objectives of ‘National Nutrition Mission’? (2017)

  1. To create awareness relating to malnutrition among pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  2. To reduce the incidence of anaemia among young children, adolescent girls and women.
  3. To promote the consumption of millets, coarse cereals and unpolished rice.
  4. To promote the consumption of poultry eggs.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 1, 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 4 only 
(d) 3 and 4 only

Ans: (a)


Q. There is a growing divergence in the relationship between poverty and hunger in India. The shrinking of social expenditure by the government is forcing the poor to spend more on non-food essential items squeezing their food-budget. Elucidate. (2019)

Q. Hunger and Poverty are the biggest challenges for good governance in India still today. Evaluate how far successive governments have progressed in dealing with these humongous problems. Suggest measures for improvement. (2017)

Source: TH

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