ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Methodological Rectification in the Global Hunger Index

The article proposes a methodological correction to the original Global Hunger Index to improve its validity as a tool to measure hunger in a country. Normalising the variables using their range instead of historic peaks as in the original GHI would help eliminate some of the measurement bias from the ranking procedure and make the ranking more justifi able to the present-day data. 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisage a world free of hunger, poverty, ill health, and other inequalities in a sustainable manner. The SDG 2, “zero hunger,” aims to end hunger from all countries by 2030. However, there are severe inequalities in the distribution of wealth, poverty, and hunger between the developed and the underdeveloped world. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) 2020 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says 690 million people in the world, that is, 8.9% of the world’s population, are hungry, and the world is not going to achieve the SDG by 2030, in the ordinary course (FAO et al 2021). Setbacks in food production, violence, conflict, and economic downturns may be cited as a few reasons for the same. In addition to the above, the COVID-19 pandemic can add up to 130 million people to the proportion of the under­nourished (FAO et al 2021).

Identifying the magnitude, distribution, and risk factors of hunger can help us adopt evidence-informed actions to combat the socio-economic evil. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a composite index that tries to measure hunger across the globe, jointly published annually by two European non-governmental organisations, namely Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. Calculating the global hunger score requires four component indicators: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality (Concern Worldwide 2021). The FAO, UNICEF, UNIGME, and World Bank are the raw data providers. They use a pre-specified differential weighting of the indicators after standardising each using the highest recorded value since 1988. The final GHI score ranging bet­ween o and 100 is used to rank the participant nations on an ordinal scale. They also propose a categorical GHI severity scale for classifying countries based on the final score having five classes with unequal class width, namely low, moderate, serious, alarming, and extremely alarming hunger.

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Updated On : 4th Apr, 2022
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