Global Hunger Index - UPSC Notes

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a multidimensional statistical tool that measures the progress and failures in the fight against hunger on a global level and is used to describe the state of countries’ hunger situation. It is important for the IAS Exam, from both Indian economics and Indian polity subjects’ point of view. This article will provide you details of Global Hunger Index 2019. 

What is the Global Hunger Index?

GHI is released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington in association with Concern Worldwide of Ireland and Welthungerhilfe (a German non-profit organization). 

Global Hunger Index Scoring

GHI ranks countries on a 100 point scale, 0 representing zero/no hunger. The GHI scores are based on four indicators. Taken together, the component indicators reflect deficiencies in calories as well as in micronutrients. Thus, the GHI reflects both aspects of hunger (undernutrition and malnutrition).

  1. UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population whose caloric intake is insufficient.
  2. CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who have low height for their age.
  3. CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height.
  4. CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

GHI Security Scale

Global Hunger Index 2019

The Global Hunger Index 2019 report mentioned a rise of 37 million in the number of hungry people as compared to 2015. 

Furthermore, the hunger level in multiple countries still hasn’t reduced or has got higher than 2010 and approximately 45 counties are set to fail to achieve ‘low’ levels of hunger by 2030.

Global Hunger Index 2019 India

GHI India Ranking 2019

  • For the year 2019, India has ranked 102nd amongst the 117 that were mapped for the Global Hunger Index.
  • With a score of 30.3 on the Hunger Index Scale, India is one of the 47 countries categorized with “Serious” levels of Hunger.
  • Compared to the 2018 GHI report where India was ranked 103rd amongst the 119 countries that were mapped, the situation hasn’t improved in the country.

Why is India ranked Serious on the Global Hunger Index?

The Global Hunger Index 2019 report also mentioned that the Child Wasting rate in the country was extremely high at 20.8% which is higher than all other countries. 

  • The share of wasting among children in India marked a steep rise from 16.5% in the 2008-2012 period to 20.8% in 2014-2018.
  • According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), child wasting is a strong predictor of mortality among children (under 5 years of age).

India and Other Countries on the Global Hunger Index

  • Among the BRICS grouping, India is ranked the worst, with China at 25 and a score of just 6.5.
  • India is behind every other country amongst the South Asian countries.
  • Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan (in that order) are all ahead of India.

Global Hunger Index (GHI) UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here


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Multiple Choice Question

Consider the following statements

  1. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) scores are based on a formula that captures three dimensions of hunger—insufficient caloric intake, child undernutrition, and child mortality
  2. South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara have the highest regional 2019 GHI scores in the world, at 29.3 and 28.4, respectively. These scores indicate serious levels of hunger according to the GHI Severity Scale.
  3. In Africa South of the Sahara, the region’s high GHI score is driven up by its undernourishment and child mortality rates, which are the highest of any region, while its child stunting rate is nearly as high as that of South Asia.
  4. Recent studies show that higher CO2 concentrations reduce the protein, zinc, and iron content of crops. 

Choose the correct answer from the below-given options

A) None of the above-given statements are true.

B) All the above-given statements are true. 

C) Only options 1 and 4 are true.

D) Only options 1 and 3 are true.


Answer: B

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