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Global Hunger Index Report 2014 released: India Ranked at 55th Position

Oct 14, 2014 16:41 IST

2014 Global Hunger Index- The challenge of hidden hunger

The 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI) was released on 13 October 2014 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.

It revealed that two billion people were suffering from hidden hunger even though the levels of hunger in many developing countries decreased. The 2014 GHI was calculated for 120 developing countries and countries in transition, 55 of which have a serious or worse hunger situation.

Highlights of Global Hunger Index Report 2014
The 2014 GHI presented a multidimensional measure of national, regional, and global hunger. It showed that the world has made progress in reducing hunger since 1990, but still has far to go as the levels of hunger remain alarming or extremely alarming in 16 countries. Globally, 805 million people still suffer from hunger.

Regionally, the highest hunger levels are observed in Africa South of the Sahara and South Asia which have also experienced the greatest absolute improvements since 2005. South Asia saw the sharp absolute decline in GHI scores since 1990. Progress in addressing child underweight was the main factor behind the improved GHI score for the region since 1990.

From 1990 to 2014, 26 countries reduced their scores by 50 percent. In terms of absolute progress, Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chad, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Thailand, and Vietnam witnessed the biggest improvement in scores since 1990.

The severity of hunger was found to be low in 44 countries. These countries include Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Turkey.

Moreover, countries like Burundi and Eritrea were classified as extremely alarming as per the 2014 GHI. However, reliable data for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia was sorely lacking.

Global Hunger Index 2014 Scores by Ranks

Country

Rank

Score

Mauritius

1

5.0

Thailand

1

5.0

Albania

3

5.3

Columbia

3

5.3

China

5

5.4

Malaysia

5

5.4

Peru

7

5.7

Syrian Arab Republic

8

5.9

Honduras

9

6.0

Suriname

9

6.0

Gabon

11

6.1

El Salvador

12

6.2

Guyana

13

6.5

Dominican Republic

14

7.0

Vietnam

15

7.5

Ghana

16

7.8

Ecuador

17

7.9

Paraguay

18

8.8

Mongolia

19

9.6

Nicaragua

19

9.6

Bolivia

21

9.9

Indonesia

22

10.3

Moldova

23

10.8

Benin

24

11.2

Mauritania

25

11.9

Cameroon

26

12.6

Iraq

27

12.7

Mali

28

13.0

Lesotho

29

13.1

Philippines

29

13.1

Botswana

31

13.4

Gambia, The

32

13.6

Malawi

32

13.6

Guinea-Bissau

34

13.7

Togo

35

13.9

Guinea

36

14.3

Senegal

37

14.4

Nigeria

38

14.7

Sri Lanka

39

15.1

Guatemala

40

15.6

Rwanda

40

15.6

Cote d’ lvoire

42

15.7

Combodia

43

16.1

Nepal

44

16.4

North Korea

44

16.4

Tajikistan

44

16.4

Kenya

47

16.5

Swaziland

47

16.5

Zimbabwe

47

16.5

Liberia

50

16.8

Namibia

51

16.9

Uganda

52

17.0

Tanzania

53

17.3

Angola

54

17.4

India

55

17.8

Congo, Republic

56

18.1

Bangladesh

57

19.1

Pakistan

57

19.1

Djibouti

59

19.5

Burkina Faso

60

19.9

Lao PDR

61

20.1

Mozambique

62

20.5

Niger

63

21.1

Central Republic African

64

21.5

Madagascar

65

21.9

Sierra Leone

66

22.5

Haiti

67

23.0

Zambia

68

23.2

Yemen, Republic

69

23.4

Ethiopia

70

24.4

Chad

71

24.9

Sudan/South Sudan

72

26.0

Comoros

73

29.5

Timor-Leste

74

29.8

Eritrea

75

33.8

Burundi

76

35.6

Hidden Hunger
• One form of hunger that is often ignored or overshadowed by hunger related to energy deficits is hidden hunger which is also called micronutrient deficiency. It affected some 2 billion people around the world.
• Hidden hunger can coexist with adequate or even excessive consumption of dietary energy from macronutrients such as fats and carbohydrates and also with obesity in one person or community.
• Poor diet, disease, impaired absorption and increased micronutrient needs during certain life stages, such as pregnancy, lactation, and infancy are among the causes of hidden hunger.
• Possible solutions to hidden hunger include food-based approaches: dietary diversification, fortification of commercial foods and biofortification, in which food crops are bred with increased micronutrient content.
• Food-based measures require long-term, sustained and coordinated efforts to make a lasting difference. On the other hand, vitamin and mineral supplements can help vulnerable populations combat hidden hunger in short span of time.
• Moreover to eliminate hidden hunger, Governments and multilateral institutions need to invest in and develop human and financial resources, increase coordination and ensure transparent monitoring and evaluation to build capacity on nutrition.
• Governments must also create a regulatory environment that values good nutrition. This could involve creating incentives for private sector companies to develop more nutritious seeds or foods.

India's Performance as per 2014 Global Hunger Index
India improved its position in the Global Hunger Index in 2014 as it climbed to 55th position among  76 emerging economies from 63rd position in 2013. Though, it is still trailing behind countries like Thailand, China, Ghana, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

A sharp reduction in the percentage of underweight children has helped India improve its hunger record. India’s improved ranking is due to its progress in dealing with underweight children.

However, India remains home to the largest number of chronically malnourished and stunted children under five. In the first GHI in 2006, India ranked 96 among 119 countries.

About Global Hunger Index
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. It is calculated each year by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The GHI highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction and provides insights into the drivers of hunger. To reflect the multidimensional nature of hunger, the GHI combines three equally weighted indicators in one index number:

1. Undernourishment: The proportion of undernourished as a percentage of the population (reflecting the share of the population with insufficient calorie intake)
2. Child underweight: The proportion of children younger than the age of five who are underweight (low weight for age reflecting wasting, stunted growth, or both), which is one indicator of child undernutrition
3. Child mortality: The mortality rate of children younger than the age of five (partially reflecting the fatal synergy of inadequate dietary intake and unhealthy environments).

The GHI ranks countries on a 100-point scale. Zero is the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst, although neither of these extremes is reached in practice. A lower GHI score implies better nutritional standard and a higher rank for a country.

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