Global Hunger Index 2023: A Comprehensive Overview and India’s Ranking Concerns

Global Hunger Index 2023: A Comprehensive Overview and India’s Ranking Concerns

In the recent update of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2023, India has secured the 111th position among 125 countries, reflecting a drop from its previous standing of 107th in the 2022 assessment. The GHI, an annual appraisal of hunger levels globally, is curated and released by Concern Worldwide, an Irish non-governmental organization (NGO), in partnership with Welt Hunger Hilfe, a German NGO. This article delves into the essence of the Global Hunger Index and India’s apprehensions regarding its current ranking.

Global Hunger Index.
Global Hunger Index.

Unveiling Global Hunger: An In-depth Exploration of the Global Hunger Index


In a world marked by remarkable advancements in technology, science, and innovation, the persistence of hunger remains a significant concern. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a critical tool to measure and analyze the state of need globally. This article will delve into the intricacies of the Global Hunger Index, its purpose, methodology, and role in addressing one of humanity’s most pressing issues.

Understanding the Global Hunger Index

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is an annually published tool that comprehensively measures hunger and malnutrition worldwide. It offers a lens through which to view the progress made in reducing need and the challenges in various regions and countries. The GHI is a collaborative effort by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Concern Worldwide, and Welthungerhilfe.

The Purpose of the Global Hunger Index

The primary objective of the Global Hunger Index is to track and quantify global, regional, and national hunger. By doing so, it strives to raise awareness about the severity of the need, mobilize support for addressing the issue, and drive policies and actions to alleviate hunger and malnutrition.

The GHI is crucial in assessing the progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) – “Zero Hunger,” which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. It also assists in identifying specific areas that require targeted interventions to ensure food security and eradicate hunger.

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Methodology of the Global Hunger Index

The GHI employs a multidimensional approach to measure hunger, considering four key indicators:

  1. Undernourishment: The proportion of the population whose caloric intake is insufficient to meet their dietary energy requirements.
  2. Child Stunting: The share of children under the age of five who have a low height for their age, indicating chronic malnutrition.
  3. Child Wasting: The percentage of children under five who have a low weight for their height, reflecting acute malnutrition.
  4. Child Mortality: The child mortality rate is a reflection of child deaths under the age of five, often related to malnutrition and preventable diseases.

Each indicator is given a specific weight in the GHI calculation, and a composite score is derived from these components for each country. The scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a worse situation regarding hunger and malnutrition.

Global Hunger Index and Its Impact on Policies

The GHI serves as a valuable tool for policymakers, researchers, NGOs, and governments to formulate and tailor policies and programs to address the issue of hunger effectively. By providing a data-driven assessment of hunger, policymakers can better understand the specific challenges faced by their populations and design strategies to improve food security and nutrition.

Furthermore, the GHI fosters a sense of accountability among nations, encouraging them to prioritize actions that mitigate hunger and malnutrition. Countries with higher GHI scores often face increased pressure to implement policies that address the root causes of hunger, including poverty, inadequate access to nutritious food, and lack of healthcare.

Challenges and Criticisms

While the Global Hunger Index is a powerful tool, it is not without its criticisms and challenges. One of the main criticisms is related to data accuracy and availability. In many low-income and conflict-affected countries, accurate and up-to-date data may be lacking, making it challenging to assess hunger and malnutrition accurately.

Additionally, the GHI primarily focuses on measuring acute and chronic forms of malnutrition, overlooking other vital aspects of hunger, such as hidden hunger or micronutrient deficiencies. A more comprehensive approach encompassing a broader spectrum of nutrition-related issues may provide a more holistic understanding of the hunger crisis.


The Global Hunger Index plays a pivotal role in quantifying and assessing the state of hunger and malnutrition across the globe. Employing a multidimensional approach provides valuable insights into the complexities of hunger, allowing for targeted efforts to combat this persistent issue. However, continual improvements and a broader perspective are necessary to ensure that the GHI remains an effective tool in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, ultimately working towards a world where every individual has access to adequate and nutritious food.

Why is the Global Hunger Index (GHI) in the news regarding India’s ranking in 2023?

A: Recently, the GHI ranked India at 111 out of 125 countries, a low ranking indicating a severe hunger level. However, the Indian government rejects this ranking, calling it erroneous due to what they believe are flaws in the methodology used to calculate it.

What are the specific reasons for India’s rejection of the Global Hunger Index 2023 ranking?

A: The Indian government believes the GHI suffers from severe methodological issues. They argue that the index is primarily based on indicators related to child health, which they claim only represents part of the population accurately. Additionally, the government highlighted that a significant indicator, the ‘Proportion of Undernourished (PoU) population,’ is based on a small opinion poll sample of 3,000 people, which they believe needs to be more representative.

Q: How does the Global Hunger Index rank India compared to its neighboring countries?

A: In the Global Hunger Index 2023, India was ranked even lower than its neighboring countries. Pakistan was rated at 102, Bangladesh at 81, Nepal at 69, and Sri Lanka at 60. India’s ranking at 111 was the lowest among South Asian nations.

Q: How does the Indian government defend its position regarding hunger and malnutrition in the country?

A: The Indian government defended its position by presenting data from their ‘Poshan Tracker’ app, which monitors child wasting. They stated that their data consistently shows fewer children than the Global Hunger Index reported. They emphasized their efforts and policies to address malnutrition through various missions and schemes like Mission Saksham Anganwadi, Poshan 2.0, and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), which provides food grains to millions of beneficiaries.

Top and Worst Performers in Global Hunger Index 2023:

The Global Hunger Index for 2023 has highlighted Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, China, and Croatia as the top-performing nations. On the other hand, Chad, Niger, Lesotho, Congo, Yemen, Madagascar, and Central African Republic were identified as the countries with the lowest rankings on the index.

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