Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022



    • The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022 has ranked India at 107th out of 121 countries and a score of 29.1 puts India in the “serious” category.

    About the Global Hunger Index (GHI)

    • The GHI 2021: India had slipped to 101st position of 116 countries (from its 94th position in 2020).
    • Objective: The GHI is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels, reflecting multiple dimensions of hunger over time. 
    • Published by
    • The GHI is published annually as part of a partnership between Concern Worldwide, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency and Welthungerhilfe.
    • The first GHI report was published in 2006.
    • Calculation: The GHI score of each country is calculated based on a formula combining four indicators that together capture the multidimensional nature of hunger.
    • Undernourishment: the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake.
    • Child stunting: the share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition.
    • Child wasting: the share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
    • Child mortality: the share of children who die before their fifth birthday, partly reflecting the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.

    Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2022: Key Findings

    • India Specific:
      • Rank and score: India ranks 107 out of 121 countries on the GHI and a score of 29.1 places it in the ‘serious’ category. 
      • India’s child wasting rate at 19.3%, is worse than earlier levels recorded in 2014 (15.1%) and 2000 (17.15) and is the highest for any country in the world. It drives up the South Asian region’s average due to India’s large population.
      • Prevalence of undernourishment has also risen in India from 14.6% in 2018-2020 to 16.3% in 2019-2021. Thus, 224.3 million people in India are considered undernourished. 
      • Improvement in
        • Child stunting has declined from 38.7% to 35.5% between 2014 and 2022.
        • Child mortality has also dropped from 4.6% to 3.3% in the same comparative period.
    • India and the neighborhood:
      • India fares worse (rank lower) than all South Asian countries- Sri Lanka (64), Nepal (81), Bangladesh (84), and Pakistan (99); except war-torn Afghanistan (109).  


    • Global Scenario:
      • Top rankings in GHI are dominated by European nations including Croatia, Estonia, and Montenegro etc.
      • Yemen lies at the lowest position (121).
      • In Asia, only China and Kuwait are ranked at the top of the list. 

    Hunger Issues in India

    • Food and Agriculture Report, 2020 stated that of the 821 million undernourished people in the world, India houses 195.9 million accounting for approximately 24% of the world’s hungry.
    • Prevalence of undernourishment in India is 14.8% higher than both the global and Asian average.
    • The National Health Survey reported in 2020 that approximately 19 crore people in the country were compelled to sleep on an empty stomach every night.
    • Under five-hunger and malnutrition: Approximately 4500 children die every day under the age of five years in India due to hunger and malnutrition. This amounts to over three lakh annual deaths owing to hunger of children alone.

    Causes of Hunger and Malnutrition

    • Specific Causes: There are multiple dimensions of malnutrition in India.
      • Calorific deficiency: Though the government has surplus of foodgrains, there is calorific deficiency because of improper allocation and distribution. Even the yearly allocated budget is not fully utilized.
      • Protein hunger: Pulses are a major panacea to address protein hunger. However, there is a lack of budgetary allocation for inclusion of pulses in PDS. With Eggs missing from menus of Mid-day Meals in various States, an easy way to improve protein intake is lost.
      • Micronutrient deficiency (hidden hunger): India faces a severe crisis in micronutrient deficiency. Its causes include poor diet, prevalence of disease or non-fulfillment of increased micronutrient needs during pregnancy and lactation.
    • Other Causes:
      • Poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation (especially toilets).
      • Low levels of immunization against communicable diseases.
      • Lack of education in women regarding the importance of a holistic diet.
      • Vicious cycle of poverty, hunger and indebtedness.
      • Post-harvest losses and rotting, wastage in warehouses.
      • Ineffective market and transport linkage.
      • Non-affordability of fruits, nuts, eggs, meat for poor.

    Government Interventions

    • Eat Right India Movement: An outreach activity organized 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, anemia (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 subsidized food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
    • Mission Indradhanush: It targets children under 2 years of age and pregnant women for immunization against 12 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD).
    • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme: Launched in 1975, the ICDS Scheme offers a package of six services to children in the age group of 0-6 years and pregnant and lactating mothers

    Source: LM