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Global Hunger Index

What do we know about the hunger situation worldwide? Has progress been made or are there any setbacks? Using the Global Hunger Index, the global hunger situation can be calculated and assessed.

Laura Reiner Policy and External Relations

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger and undernutrition at global, regional, and national levels. It is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the fight against hunger, and call attention to those areas of the world where hunger levels are highest and where the need for additional efforts to eliminate hunger is greatest.

Global Hunger Index 2022: Bleak outlook in the face of overlapping crises

The Global Hunger Index 2022 reveals a dramatic hunger situation worldwide. The world is facing a serious setback in efforts to end hunger. Conflict, the climate crisis and the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic – compounded by the war in Ukraine – are major drivers of hunger. This is worsened by underlying factors for hunger, such as structural inequality and power asymmetries in the food system.

The situation is expected to deteriorate further as global crises overlap. In the absence of fundamental changes, the goal of "Zero Hunger” by 2030 will not be achieved. Knowledge about how to fight global hunger is not a problem. Possible solutions and the scale of investment required are known and quantified. Rather, the problem lies in policy implementation and the lack of political will in the world.

Cover page of the 2022 Global Hunger Index Global Hunger Index 2022

Report, synopsis, map: All documents can be downloaded here in English and other languages.

Global hunger, measured by a Global Hunger Index score of 18.2, is categorized as moderate in 2022. Compared to the 2014 value (19.1), it has decreased only slightly. Since 2014, hunger has increased in 20 countries with moderate, serious, or alarming 2022 GHI scores across multiple regions. Globally, too many people still suffer from hunger and, in fact, the global prevalence of undernourishment, one of the GHI's four indicators, is rising again after decades of decline. As many as 828 million people were undernourished in 2021, an erosion of the progress recorded in past decades.

The other indicators used in the GHI show different results. Globally, child wasting rates (too thin relative to height) have stagnated, while child mortality rates as well as child stunting rates (too short relative to age) have continued to decline. Despite this, too many countries around the world are by no means on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

Multiple crises undermine progress toward ending hunger

The GHI 2022 estimates that 46 countries will not achieve even a low level of hunger by 2030, based on their recent performance. Decades of progress in tackling hunger is being reversed.

Conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19 are drivers of hunger and are predicted to worsen the situation. The war in Ukraine has continued to drive up global food, energy and fertilizer prices and will continue to significantly exacerbate hunger in 2023 and beyond. These crises compound structural causes of hunger such as poverty, inequality, poor governance and infrastructure, and low agricultural productivity.

Growing local vegetables in Niger © Welthungerhilfe
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Climate-friendly farming methods in Kenya © Welthungerhilfe
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Nutrition training for women in Nepal © Welthungerhilfe
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Saffron cultivation in Afghanistan © Welthumgerhilfe
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The hunger levels in both South Asia (where hunger is greatest) and sub-Saharan Africa (where hunger is second greatest) are considered serious. South Asia has the highest child stunting rate and by far the highest child wasting rate of any world region. Africa South of the Sahara has the highest prevalence of undernourishment and rate of child mortality of any world region. In East Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are experiencing one of the most severe droughts of the past 40 years, threatening the lives of millions. According to forecasts, the climate crisis will be a key factor preventing the world from achieving the second UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2), “Zero Hunger” by 2030.

Critical need for transformation of food systems

In the face of the third global food price crisis in 15 years, it is more obvious than ever that our current food systems are inadequate to sustainably end poverty and hunger.

Eine Gruppe Frauen im Südsudan Global Hunger Index Website

The latest figures, an interactive map and all past GHI reports.

The international community urgently needs to respond to the escalating humanitarian crises – but it must not lose sight of the need for long-term transformation of food systems. Decision-makers must place inclusive local governance, accountability, and the realization of the right to food at the center of food systems transformation. All levels of government must engage local actors and capacities and promote strong local decision-making structures. This transformation will only succeed if communities, civil society organizations, small producers, farmers, and indigenous populations can use their local knowledge and experience to shape food policy.

Where is the hunger situation most severe?

This year's Global Hunger Index shows that the hunger situation in many countries still needs urgent attention.

In five countries – Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Yemen - hunger is at an alarming level. In some countries, there is insufficient data to calculate a GHI score. But based on other known data, four more countries - Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria – have been provisionally identified as alarming. In another 35 countries, hunger levels are classified as serious, according to this year's GHI scores. Even in regions and countries that score well, food insecurity persists in some areas. However, there are signs of progress: since 2000, the GHI scores of 32 countries have declined by 50% or more.

Global Hunger Index 2022: The analyzed countries can be sorted into categories depending on whether the hunger situation is extremely alarming, alarming, serious, moderate or low. © Welthungerhilfe
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Global Hunger Index 2022 score by region: The hunger situation is worst in South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara. © Welthungerhilfe
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How must governments act now? © Welthungerhilfe
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The hunger levels in both South Asia (where hunger is greatest) and sub-Saharan Africa (where hunger is second greatest) are considered serious. South Asia has the highest child stunting rate and by far the highest child wasting rate of any world region. Africa South of the Sahara has the highest prevalence of undernourishment and rate of child mortality of any world region. In East Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are experiencing one of the most severe droughts of the past 40 years, threatening the lives of millions. According to forecasts, the climate crisis will be a key factor preventing the world from achieving the second UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2), “Zero Hunger” by 2030.

How is the Global Hunger Index Calculated?

The countries analysed can be categorised according to whether their hunger level is extremely alarming, alarming, serious, moderate or low. The higher the value, the higher the severity of hunger in the country in question.

The 4 Indicators of the Global Hunger Index

The report is published jointly by Welthungerhilfe and the Alliance 2015 partner Concern Worldwide.

Focus 2022: Transformation of food systems and local governance

Global Hunger Index essay author Danielle Resnick (Brookings Institution and International Food Policy Research Institute) explains how local actors and institutions are increasingly playing a greater role in the governance of food systems. Experts from Malawi, Kenya and Nepal share insights from their work with local communities and examine their power to transform food systems.

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