2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC

2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC


India fares poorly in hunger index

      WHY IN NEWS:

Country has the highest prevalence of ‘wasted children’; even Bangladesh and Pakistan score better



For PRELIMS it is important to compare the data . Go through the analysis . Compare the report with respect to regions , countries and come up with your own definition of Hunger !

For MAINS go with the methodology , definitions and the issues with such reports .


India has the highest prevalence of wasted children under five years in the world, which reflects acute undernutrition.


  • 2020 GHI is data on the proportion of undernourished are for 2017–2019.

The data on child stunting and wasting are for the latest year in the period 2015–2019 for which data are available.

  • The data on child mortality are for 2018.
  • GHI scores were not calculated for countries for which data were not available and for certain high-income countries, countries with small populations, and non-independent territories.


  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels.

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.

  • It call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest.




Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.


  • GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
  • This report is released annually.


Far too many individuals are suffering from hunger and undernutrition:

  • UNDERNOURISHED : Nearly 690 million people are undernourished
  • STUNTING : 144 million children suffer from stunting, a sign of chronic undernutrition
  • WASTING : 47 million children suffer from wasting, a sign of acute undernutrition
  • MORTALITY : 5.3 million children died before their fifth birthdays, in many cases as a result of undernutrition.
  • WORLDWIDE HUNGER : Worldwide hunger is at a moderate level, according to the 2020 Global Hunger Index.
  • HIGHEST UNDERNUTRITION : Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia have the highest hunger and undernutrition levels among world regions, with 2020 GHI scores of 27.8 and 26.0.
  • EMERGENCY : According to 2020 GHI scores, 3 countries have alarming levels of hunger – Chad, Timor-Leste, and Madagascar.
  • ALARM : Hunger is also considered to be alarming in 8 countries – Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen .

The world is not on track to achieve the second Sustainable Development Goal – known as Zero Hunger for short – by 2030.

  • At the current pace, approximately 37 countries will fail even to reach low hunger, as defined by the GHI Severity Scale, by 2030.


  • For the 2020 GHI report, data were assessed for 132 countries.
  • Out of these, there were sufficient data to calculate 2020 GHI scores for and rank 107 countries .

2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC



GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger .

First, for each country, values are determined for four indicators:

  1. UNDERNOURISHMENT : The share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient).
  2. CHILD WASTING : The share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);
  3. CHILD STUNTING : The share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition).
  4. CHILD MORTALITY : The mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC

Each of the four component indicators is given a standardized score on a 100-point scale.


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has undermined food and nutrition security for many, and its effects will likely ripple into the future.
  • People who consume too few calories—in the world has stagnated, the absolute number of undernourished people is on the rise.
  • Too many children are suffering from undernutrition, which increases their vulnerability when crises occur.




  • Hunger is highest in the regions of Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia, whose 2020 GHI scores are 27.8 and 26.0, respectively
  • The high GHI score in Africa South of the Sahara is driven up by the region’s large share of people who are undernourished.

2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC

  • In both Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia, one in three children was stunted as of 2019.
  • Child mortality in Africa South of the Sahara is exceptionally high
  • South Asia has the largest number of undernourished people in the world.
  • South Asia’s child wasting rate is the highest of any world region.

Despite declines in recent years, child mortality in South Asia is still unacceptably high, with improvements in child nutrition needed.

  • No region of the world is immune from hunger, as the COVID-19 pandemic makes clear.


  • Multiple countries are experiencing increasing levels of hunger.
  • Chad has the highest 2020 GHI score of the countries with sufficient data for calculating GHI scores in this report – 44.7, which is considered alarming.

2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC

  • At 37.6, Timor-Leste’s 2020 GHI score is considered alarming and is the second highest in this year’s report.
  • Madagascar’s GHI score of 36.0, considered alarming, is the third highest according to this year’s ranking.


  • Inequalities within country borders are pervasive, and it is crucial to understand which groups face the greatest challenges.
  • Inequality exists for multiple indicators of hunger and undernutrition, and different states or provinces can struggle with some aspects more than others.

Disparities can fall along geographic, ethnic, racial, wealth, gender, or other lines.

  • Even in the regions of the world with the lowest GHI scores in this report, there are countries with states or provinces facing high levels of stunting.


  • In the 2020 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 94th out of the 107 countries.
  • India had sufficient data to calculate 2020 GHI scores.

2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC


  • HUNGER : It is usually understood to refer to the distress associated with a lack of sufficient calories.
  • UNDERNUTRITION : It signifies deficiencies in any or all of the following: energy, protein, and/ or essential vitamins and minerals. 
  • MALNUTRITION : It refers more broadly to both undernutrition (problems caused by deficiencies) and over-nutrition (problems caused by unbalanced diets).

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • As demonstrated by the 2020 GHI, many parts of the world are suffering from unacceptable levels of hunger.

Given the current trajectory, the goal of achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 will not be fully achieved.

  • Yet progress has been made in the past in many parts of the world, providing hope for the future.
  • The indicators included in the GHI formula reflect caloric deficiencies as well as poor nutrition.
  • The inclusion of both child wasting and child stunting allows the GHI to document both acute and chronic undernutrition.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 2020 Global Hunger Index | UPSC



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