Bhubaneswar: The 2021 Global Hunger Index (GHI) points to a dire hunger situation in a world coping with multiple crises. Progress toward Zero Hunger by 2030, already far too slow, is showing signs of stagnating or even being reversed. Based on current GHI projections, the world as a whole—and 47 countries in particular—will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030.
The Global Hunger Index launched on Thursday ranked India at 101 position out of a total 116 countries. India is also among the 31 countries where hunger has been identified as serious. Only 15 countries are below India in the ranking, these are – Papua New Guinea (102), Afghanistan (103), 0Nigeria (103), Congo (105), Mozambique (106), Sierra Leone (106), Timor-Leste (108), Haiti (109), Liberia (110), Madagascar (111), Democratic Republic of Congo (112), Chad (113), Central African Republic (114), Yemen (115) and Somalia (116).
India’s neighbours Pakistan and Bangladesh have occupied 92 and 76 ranks respectively. Somalia has the highest level of hunger according to the 2021 GHI ranking — its GHI score of 50.8 is considered extremely alarming, It is preceded by five countries with levels of hunger that are alarming — Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, and Yemen — and 31 countries that have serious levels of hunger.
The Index tracks key indicators used to measure progress toward Zero Hunger by 2030 at national, regional, and global levels. Based on the values of the four indicators – undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality- the GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale, where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. Each country’s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming.
“Although GHI scores show that global hunger has been on the decline since 2000, progress is slowing. While the GHI score for the world fell 4.7 points, from 25.1 to 20.4, between 2006 and 2012, it has fallen just 2.5 points since 2012. After decades of decline, the global prevalence of undernourishment—one of the four indicators used to calculate GHI scores—is increasing,” says the report.
Conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic— three of the most powerful and toxic forces driving hunger—threaten to wipe out any progress that has been made against hunger in recent years. Violent conflict, which is deeply intertwined with hunger, shows no signs of abating. The consequences of climate change are becoming ever more apparent and costly, but the world has developed no fully effective mechanism to mitigate, much less reverse, it. And the COVID-19 pandemic, which has spiked in different parts of the world throughout 2020 and 2021, has shown just how vulnerable we are to global contagion and the associated health and economic consequences.
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions, and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.