Hunger Overview

Hunger Overview

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In order to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger, the 2016 Global Hunger Index (GHI) scores are based on the following four indicators:

1. UNDERNOURISHMENT i.e. the proportion of undernourished people as a percentage of the population (reflecting the share of the population  with insufficient caloric intake);
2. CHILD WASTING i.e. the proportion of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);
3. CHILD STUNTING i.e. the proportion of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and
4. CHILD MORTALITY i.e. the mortality rate of children under the age of five (partially reflecting the fatal synergy of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

The values for each of the four component indicators (mentioned above) are determined from the available data for each country. Then each of the four component indicators is given a standardized score, and the standardized scores are aggregated to calculate the GHI score for each country.

This calculation results in GHI scores on a 100-point scale, where 0 (zero) is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.

The 2016 GHI has been calculated for 118 countries for which data on all four component indicators are available and where measuring hunger is considered most relevant.

The GHI scores are based on source data that are continuously revised by the United Nations (UN) agencies that compile them, and each year’s GHI report reflects these revisions. While these revisions result in improvements in the data, they also mean that the GHI scores from different years’ reports are not directly comparable with one another. This year’s report contains GHI scores for 2016 and three reference periods—1992, 2000, and 2008—all of which have been calculated with revised data. To track the progress of a country or region over time, the 1992, 2000, 2008, and 2016 scores within this report can be compared.

According to the report entitled 2016 Global Hunger Index: Getting to Zero Hunger (released in October 2016) , which has been jointly published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe (WHH), please click here to access: 

• India ranks 97th among 118 countries in terms of 2016 Global Hunger Index. The country has improved its GHI score from 46.4 during 1992 to 38.2 during 2000, and further to 36.0 during 2008. It has a GHI score of 28.5 during 2016.

• As compared to India, China's ranking is 29 (GHI score: 7.7) and Pakistan's ranking is 107 (GHI score: 33.4) during 2016.    

• The proportion of undernourished in the population of India was 22.2 percent in 1991-93, 17.0 percent in 1999-2001, 17.2 percent in 2007-09, and 15.2 percent in 2014-16.

• The prevalence of wasting among Indian children under 5-years was 20.0 percent in 1990-94, 17.1 percent in 1998-2002, 20.0 percent in 2006-2010, and 15.1 percent in 2011-15.

• The prevalence of stunting among Indian children under 5-years was 61.9 percent in 1990-94, 54.2 percent in 1998-2002, 47.9 percent in 2006-2010, and 38.7 percent in 2011-15.

• The under-five mortality rate in India was 11.9 percent in 1992, 9.1 percent in 2000, 6.6 percent in 2008, and 4.8 percent in 2015.

• The level of hunger in the developing world has declined by 29 percent since 2000, says the IFPRI report. Despite this progress, the level of hunger globally remains distressingly high, with 795 million people still facing hunger, roughly one in four children affected by stunting, and 8 percent of children affected by wasting.

• From the 2000 GHI to the 2016 GHI, 22 countries reduced their scores by 50 percent or more. The three that achieved the biggest percentage reductions in hunger of all the countries in the serious and alarming categories are Myanmar, Rwanda, and Cambodia, with 2016 GHI scores for each country down by just over 50 percent relative to the 2000 scores. Each of these countries has experienced civil war and political instability in recent decades, and the improvements in part may reflect increased stability.

Rural Expert

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