3 November 2013

The Global Hunger Index published by IFPRI shows an improvement in the world food and nutrition situation

The Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has just published for the eighth consecutive year its Global Hunger Index.

The IFPRI index is computed for 120 countries for which required data are available and for which measuring hunger is considered most relevant. The index seeks to incorporate in one figure the multidimensional nature of hunger by including three dimensions:

  1. The proportion of undernourished people as a percentage of the population, using the data published annually by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation [read]

  2. The proportion of children younger than age five who are underweight, using the data on Child Growth and Malnutrition published by the World Health Organisation (WHO)

  3. The mortality rate of children younger than age five, based on updated figures produced by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality

The conclusions of the IFPRI report can be summarised in three main points:

  1. The level of hunger in the world is following a decreasing trend, although this level remains totally unacceptable

  2. The situation has improved in all regions of the world between 1990 and 2013, but it remains the most critical in South Asia, followed by Africa

To enlarge the diagram click GHI diagram.png

  1. This improvement is also observed in all countries in the world but Guatemala, Paraguay, Burundi, Swaziland and Comoros (it must be mentioned here that data are not available for countries where the food situation is known to be quite critical like DRC, Somalia and Afghanistan in particular) [see GHI change map.png]

Besides the IFPRI index and FAO data, two other important indexes are produced regularly on hunger. They are:

  1. The Global Food Security Index published by the British magazine «The Economist», which is computed based on data describing the food and nutrition situation as well as on indicators of political will

  2. The Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index, HANCI designed by the UK-based Institute of Development Studies (IDS), which seeks to measure government action against hunger.

For more information:

IFPRI, Global Hunger Index - The challenge of hunger: building resilience to achieve food and nutrition security, 2013


Last update:    November 2013

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