19 October 2021

2021 Global Hunger Index.

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a way to compare levels of hunger between countries and regions, 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.

Measuring hunger is complicated. To use the GHI information most effectively, it helps to understand how the GHI scores are calculated and what they can and cannot tell us.

Assembling the GHI

How are the GHI scores calculated?

GHI scores are calculated using a three-step process that draws on available data from various sources to capture the multidimensional nature of hunger (Figure A.1).

For each country, values are determined for four indicators:

  • UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);

  • CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);

  • CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and

  • CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).
In the 2021 Global Hunger Index, Sri Lanka ranks 65th out of the 116 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2021 GHI scores. With a score of 16.0, Sri Lanka has a level of hunger that is moderate.

Neighboring countries like India (89), Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the ‘alarming’ hunger category but have fared better at feeding its citizens than India, according to the report.

Top countries in the Index

A total of 18 countries, including China, Kuwait and Brazil, shares the top rank. The GHI score of these 18 nations is less than 5. This means that these countries suffer very less from hunger and malnutrition.

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