'Not Enough to Eat' - The Global hunger index 2019 - Seeker's Thoughts

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'Not Enough to Eat' - The Global hunger index 2019

According to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report 2019, an estimated 821 million people did not have enough to eat in 2018, up from 811 million in the previous year, which is the third year of increase in a row.

 This underscores the immense challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero hunger in 2030.

The report says - the pace of progress in having the number of children who are stunted and in reducing the number of babies born with low birth weights is too slow, which also puts the SDG 2 nutrition targets further out of reach.

Hunger is increasing in many countries where economic growth is lagging, particularly in middle-income countries and those that rely heavily on international primary commodity trade.

The annual UN report also found that income inequality is rising in many of the countries where hunger is one the rise, making it even more difficult for the poor, vulnerable or marginalized to cope with economic slowdowns and downturns.



  • Number of hungry people in the world in 2018: 821.6 million (or 1 in 9 people)
    • in Asia: 513.9 million
    • in Africa: 256.1million
    • in Latin America and the Caribbean: 42.5 million
  • Number of moderately or severely food insecure: 2 billion (26.4%)
  • Babies born with low birth weight: 20.5 million (one in seven)
  • Children under 5 affected by stunting (low height-for-age): 148.9 million (21.9%)
  • Children under 5 affected by wasting (low weight-for-height): 49.5 million (7.3%)
  • Children under 5 who are overweight (high weight-for-height): 40 million (5.9%)
  • School-age children and adolescents who are overweight: 338 million
  • Adults who are obese: 672 million (13% or 1 in 8 adults)


What Global hunger index 2019 shows?

The Global Hunger Index 2019 reported revealed, in 117 countries where the assessment is most relevant where data on all four component indicators are available.

43 countries out of 117 countries have levels of hunger that remain serious.

4 countries Chad, Madagascar, Yemen, and Zambia suffer from hunger levels that are alarming and 1 country the Central African Republic from a level that is extremely alarming.

Higher-income countries are not included in the Global Hunger Index but still show variable, non-negligible rates of food security. The food insecurity experience scale – another measure of hunger not used in or directly comparable to the global hunger index – shows that in the European Union, 18% of households with children under age 15 experience moderate or severe food insecurity.


Global Hunger Index this year focuses on the impact of climate change and hunger know why?

Human action has created a world in which it is becoming ever more difficult to adequately and sustainably feed and boorish the human population.

Ever-rising emission has pushed average global temperatures to 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Climate change affecting the global food system in ways that increase the threats to those who currently already suffer from hunger and undernutrition.

There is a strong correlation between global hunger Index scores and levels of vulnerability/readiness to climate change. 

Countries with high GHI scores are often also highly vulnerable to climate change but have the least capacity to adapt; several countries with low GHI scores are the least vulnerable and almost ready.

Climate change affects the quality and safety of food. It can lead to the production of toxins on crops and worsen the nutritional value of cultivated food – for example, it can reduce the concentrations of protein, zinc, and iron in crops. 

As a result by 2050 and estimated an additional 175 million people could be deficient in zinc and an additional 122 million people could experience protein deficiencies.

India has been ranked 102 out of 117 countries below Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh in terms of the severity of hunger. The country with the severest problem hunger at rank 117 is the Central African Republic.

According to the Global Hunger Index report scores countries on a 100=point “severity scale".
Where are the best score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst? “With a score of 30.3, India suffers from a level of hunger that is serious.

India fell from 55 in 2014 to 102 in 2019 in the Global Hunger Index.

 However, the number of countries had differed from year to year. India ranked 55 out of 76 nations in 2014, 100 out of 119 countries in 2017, and 103 out of 119 countries in 2018. This year’s report calculated the index from a sample of 117 nations and India came on 102.

Also Read,

13 billion tonnes of food gets wasted
Story of poisness mid day meal in India
Hunger index 2018 A Health emergency in India

India produces sufficient food to produce its population yet this is the land of one among the hungriest people.

 Because of its large population, India’s Global Hunger Index indicator values have an ou tsized impact on the indicator values for the region.

India’s child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8 percent – the highest wasting rate of any country in this report for which data or estimate was available. Report revealed.

The index was calculated on four parameters: undernourishment; child wasting, or the share of children under five years who have a low weight for their age; child stunting, or the share of children under five years who have a low height for their age, and child mortality rate under five years.

"Using this combination of indicators to measure hunger offers several advantages. The indicators included in the GHI formula reflect caloric deficiencies as well as poor nutrition. The undernourishment indicator captures the nutrition situation of the population as a whole, while the indicators specific to children reflect the nutrition status within a particularly vulnerable subset of the population..." the GHI report says.


This year’s GHI simultaneously demonstrates cause for a degree of optimism, reasons for concern, a dose of realism, and, perhaps most of all, a large degree of uncertainty.

It is reasonable to view the progress made globally in reducing hunger and under nutrition over almost 20 years and find grounds to believe that the world can and will continue to make progress in the quest to eliminate these maladies. Good governance, smart investments, and solid sustained programming show results and protect human rights, prosperity, and equality. Maintaining a degree of optimism is important, particularly if it serves as motivation to continue with the hard work that is required.

At the same time, there are many reasons for concern. The number of undernourished people in the world is increasing. Extreme weather events are jeopardizing food production and food security and are only expected to increase in number and severity in conjunction with global climate change. Too many countries are in the midst of violent conflicts that have precipitously increased their hunger levels.

Inequalities in child nutrition at the subnational level and ongoing food insecurity even in high-income countries provide a dose of realism. Even in countries that may seem, on the surface, to have succeeded in reducing hunger and undernutrition, problems remain. There will always be a need to monitor the food security situation even in thriving economies and to provide support in these societies to those who struggle to access adequate nutritious food.

Lastly, in the case of climate change, there is a tremendous degree of uncertainty. As discussed in the following chapter, we know many of the actions we must take to mitigate, prepare for, and adapt to climate change, but we have no global-scale experience to look back on as a guide or a guarantor of success. It will take humanity’s ingenuity, dedication, and perseverance to ensure that we collectively achieve Zero Hunger while tackling the unprecedented challenge of climate change.
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