by | Oct 28, 2023

India’s Position in the 2023 Global Hunger Index Sparks Debate

In the recently released Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2023, India finds itself in the 111th position out of 125 countries, igniting discussions and debates on the nation’s progress against hunger. This ranking not only signifies India’s concerning trend but also mirrors a global pattern. The Union government, for the third consecutive year, questions India’s ranking, citing methodological concerns.

Key Points:

  • India’s GHI score of 28.7 categorises its hunger severity as “serious” on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents no hunger and 100 is the worst scenario.
  • Comparative rankings reveal that Afghanistan, Haiti, and 12 sub-Saharan countries perform worse than India on the GHI.

Image Source GHI

Understanding the GHI:

The Global Hunger Index is determined by four vital indicators: undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality, providing a holistic view of hunger and malnutrition

About GHI:

Aspect Highlights
Establishment Year 2006
Purpose Measure and track global hunger and undernutrition.
  • Undernourishment: Percentage of the population unable to acquire sufficient calories.
  • Child Stunting: Proportion of children under 5 with stunted growth.
  • Child Wasting: Prevalence of acute malnutrition among under-5 children.
  • Child Mortality: Child mortality rate under 5, often linked to malnutrition.
Scoring System 0 (no hunger) to 100 (worst hunger). Lower scores indicate less hunger.
  • Identifies countries and regions with severe hunger.
  • Aids policymakers and organisations in addressing hunger and malnutrition.
  • Allows for tracking progress or setbacks in the fight against hunger.
Regional Comparisons Categorises regions and countries based on GHI scores for comparisons.
Global Trends Provides insights into global hunger trends, causes, and consequences.
Global Impact Helps in the global effort to improve food security and nutrition. 


Stagnation in Progress:

India showcased substantial improvements in its GHI scores between 2000 and 2015, with scores dropping from 38.4 to 29.2. However, over the past eight years, the country’s progress has been minimal, with an increase of just 0.5 points. This data from 2000, 2008, and 2015 is the only valid basis for comparing long-term progress.

Global Hunger Trends:

Globally, the GHI score for 2023 stands at 18.3, considered “moderate” and only one point lower than the 2015 score of 19.1. Alarming data reveals an increase in undernourished individuals from 7.5% in 2017 to 9.2% in 2022, affecting around 735 million people worldwide.

Image Source GHI

Controversy and Government Objections:

India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) continues to question the GHI methodology. One point of contention revolves around child wasting prevalence, with the MoWCD citing different data than the GHI. However, the GHI defends its methodology, highlighting the consistent use of data sources for all countries to ensure comparability.

Regional Hunger Levels:

South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara experience the highest hunger levels, with GHI scores of 27.0, indicating severe hunger. Meanwhile, West Asia and North Africa follow closely with a score of 11.9, signifying “moderate” hunger. Notably, Latin America and the Caribbean are the sole regions where GHI scores worsened between 2015 and 2023.

East and Southeast Asia’s Performance:

This region, primarily led by China, presents the second-lowest GHI score for 2023 worldwide. Remarkably, China is among the top 20 countries with a GHI score of less than 5.

Lowest Hunger Level Region:

Europe and Central Asia claim the lowest GHI score for 2023 at 6.0, considered “low.”

Understanding the Causes:

The GHI 2023 report attributes the stagnation in the fight against global hunger to a combination of crises. These crises encompass the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, economic stagnation, the effects of climate change, and persistent conflicts in various nations. The result is a cost-of-living crisis that has depleted the coping capacity of numerous countries.


The controversy surrounding India’s GHI ranking underscores the pressing need to address global hunger and malnutrition comprehensively. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of continued efforts to combat this critical issue, especially given the multifaceted challenges posed by overlapping global crises.

Source: The Indian Express

Also Read: Global Innovation Index

Written By Vishakha Khatri

My name is Vishakha Khatri. I am an engineering graduate and a civil service aspirant with a passion for spreading knowledge about Indian polity. I believe that understanding our political system is crucial for every citizen, and I am committed to making this information accessible to everyone in my own easy way. Through my experiences in civil service preparation and my unique perspective as an engineering graduate, I hope to inspire and educate others on the importance of Indian polity.

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