Global Hunger Index 



  • Annual Report: Jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe.
  • It was first produced in 2006. It is published every October. The 2020 edition marks the 15th edition of the GHI.

Global Hunger Index 2020 

 India has been ranked at 94 among 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2020. 

Overall Performance 

  • With a score of 27.2, India has a level of hunger that is “serious”. 
  • It ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Index. In 2019, India‟s rank was 102 out of 117 countries. 

Comparison with Other Countries 

  • India features behind Nepal (73), Pakistan (88), Bangladesh (75), Indonesia (70) among others.
  • Out of the total 107 countries, only 13 countries fare worse than India including countries like Rwanda (97), Nigeria (98), Afghanistan (99), Liberia (102), Mozambique (103), Chad (107) among others. 
Different types of undernutrition - SUN

Performance on the Indicators 

  • Undernourishment: 14% of India‟s population is undernourished (2017-19). It was 16.3% during 2011-13. 
  • Child Wasting: 17.3% (2015-19), it was 15.1% in 2010-14. 
  • Child Stunting: 34.7%, it has improved significantly, from 54% in 2000 to less than 35% now. 
  • Child Mortality: 3.7%, it was 5.2% in 2012. 
India - Global Hunger Index (GHI) - peer-reviewed annual publication  designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global,  regional, and country levels


To comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. 

Calculation: The GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. It is calculated on the basis of four indicators: 

Undernourishment: Share of the population with insufficient caloric intake. 

Child Wasting: Share of children under age five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition. 

Child Stunting: Share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition. 

Child Mortality: The mortality rate of children under the age of five. 


○ Based on the values of the four indicators, the GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst. 

○ Each country‟s GHI score is classified by severity, from low to extremely alarming. 

Some Related Initiatives by India 

  • Eat Right India Movement: An outreach activity organised by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for citizens to nudge them towards eating right. 
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan: 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: The National Food Security Act, (NFSA) 2013 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 on 2nd October, 1975, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme offers a package of six services (Supplementary Nutrition, Pre-school non-formal education, Nutrition & health education, Immunization, Health check-up and Referral services) to children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers. 


  • Union Minister of State for Agriculture, in the Rajya Sabha, questioned the methodology and data accuracy of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, which has placed India at 94th among 107 countries in 2020. 
  • The minister claimed that children considered healthy were also counted to determine the ranking. 
  • The government had written to the NGO, Welthungerhilfe, which compiles the report, expressing concerns about their methodology, data accuracy and sample size and was yet to hear from them. 


Responding to a question by an MP 

  • He was responding to a question by an MP of the Aam Aadmi Party who pointed out that the Minister‟s written reply showed that India‟s ranking had improved from 102 in 2019 to 94 in 2020. 
  • He sought to know why India was ranked below countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, when it was among top 10 food-producing countries in the world. 
  • Some NGO in the world has done the survey. The government has asked them on what basis have they reached this conclusion? They have not replied yet. 


Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) 

  • The Ministry stated that according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4, the percentage of wasted, stunted and malnourished children in 2015-16 stood at 21, 38.4 and 35.7, respectively. 
  • Compared to NFHS-4 data, the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) of 2017-18 showed an improvement of 4%, 3.7% and 2.3% in wasted, stunted and malnourished children respectively. 
  • The first-ever CNNS was commissioned by the government in 2016 and was conducted from 2016-18, led by the Union Health Ministry, in collaboration with the UNICEF. The findings were published in 2019. 
  • CNNS includes only nutrition data, whereas NFHS encompasses overall health indicators. 
  • Women and Child Development Minister informed the Rajya Sabha that 10 lakh children were malnourished in the country. 
  • According to the GHI website, the data for the indicators come from the United Nations and other multilateral agencies, including the World Health Organization and the World Bank. 

GHI is a peer-reviewed annual report, jointly published by Concern Worldwide, an Ireland-based humanitarian group, and Welthungerhilfe, a Germany-based NGO, designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. 

 It says the aim of publishing the report is to trigger action to reduce hunger around the world. 


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