2022 Global Hunger Index: Food Systems Transformation and Local Governance


This report was published jointly by Concern Worldwide, Ireland, and Welthungerhilfe, Germany, – two non-governmental organisations – in October 2022. The first annual Global Hunger Index (GHI) was published in the year 2006. This 17th edition highlights the impact of climate change, Covid-19, and conflict – such as the war in Ukraine – on global food systems. It stresses on the role of community action and local governments in ensuring food security. The report also measures the progress made towards achieving the second of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – ‘Zero Hunger’.

Quoting the Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations, the report states that ‘food deprivation’ or ‘undernourishment’ refers to “the habitual consumption of too few calories to provide the minimum dietary energy an individual requires to live a healthy and productive life, given that person’s sex, age, stature, and physical activity level.”

The 2022 report calculates the GHI scores for 121 countries. It gives each country a score which measures hunger on a 100-point scale, ranging from ‘low’ (less than or equal to the score of 9.9), ‘moderate’ (10-19.9), ‘serious’ (20-34.9), ‘alarming’ (35-49.9) to ‘extremely alarming’ (greater than or equal to 50).

The GHI is calculated using four indicators: ‘undernourishment’ (the share of the population whose caloric intake is insufficient), ‘child wasting’ (the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition), ‘child stunting’ (the share of children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition), and ‘child mortality’ (the mortality rate of children under the age of five).

This report uses data collected by various United Nations agencies – including the Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund – and other organisations such as the World Bank.


  1. The global GHI score in 2022 was classified as ‘moderate’ at 18.2. It showed a slight decline from the 2014 score of 19.1 but an increase from the global score of 17.9 reported in the 2021 GHI report.

  2. Out of 121 countries, India ranked 107 with a GHI score of 29.1 in the 2022 index. The country’s score worsened from the value of 27.5 recorded in the 2021 index.

  3. In 2021, around 828 million people were undernourished. Hunger was recorded to be at ‘alarming’ levels in nine countries and ‘serious’ in 35 others. Calculated by the incidence of undernourishment, conflict was regarded a major reason for chronic hunger.

  4. As many as 17 countries – including Chile, China, Kuwait, Montenegro and Uruguay – ranked highest on the GHI with scores of less than five. The countries ranking lowest on the index were Yemen (45.1), Central African Republic (44), Madagascar (38.7), Democratic Republic of Congo (37.8) and Chad (37.2).

  5. India’s score on the indicator of ‘undernourishment’ was 16.3 for the time period of 2019-21. The country scored 19.3 on the ‘child wasting’ indicator and 35.5 on the ‘child stunting’ indicator for 2017-21. Under the ‘child mortality’ indicator, India scored 3.3.

  6. As per the ‘child wasting’ indicator, prevalence of children under five years of age suffering from wasting was highest in India – which scored 19.3 on the indicator. It was followed by Sudan (16.9) and Yemen (16.1). On the child stunting indicator, Yemen had the highest scores with 55.5 followed by Timor-Leste (46.7) and Niger (44.4).

  7. The report lays out observations from research into the reduction of child stunting in the four Indian states of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Odisha and Tamil Nadu between 2006 and 2016. It states that coverage of health and nutrition related interventions, socio-economic status of the household, food security, and maternal health and education were the primary contributing factors.

  8. South Asia (27.4) and Africa South of the Sahara (27) were the regions with the highest and second-highest GHI scores in 2022. They were followed by West Asia and North Africa (11.4), Latin America and the Caribbean (8.8) and East and Southeast Asia (8.2). Europe and Central Asia scored 6.3 on the 2022 GHI.

  9. Among other countries in South Asia, Sri Lanka ranked 64 with a GHI score of 13.6 followed by Nepal (ranked 81 with a score of 19.1) and Bangladesh (ranked 84 with a score of 19.6). With a score of 26.1, Pakistan ranked 99 on the 2022 GHI.

  10. Africa South of the Sahara has the highest rate of child mortality and undernourishment than any other region in the world, the report states. The countries of Central African Republic (52.2), Madagascar (48.5) and Haiti (47.2) scored highest on the undernourishment indicator. On the child mortality indicator, Somalia (11.5), Nigeria (11.4) and Chad (11) scored highest.

  11. The Global Hunger Index was low in Latin America and the Caribbean, the report notes. However, it was the only world region where the GHI score increased between 2014 and 2022 – from 8.0 to 8.8.

  12. The report urges governments to ensure the right to food by protecting it under national law. It also stresses on the importance of local leadership in informing citizens about food systems to aid them in tracking the government’s actions and asserting their own rights.

  13. The report also asks governments to refrain from ‘ad hoc reactions’ like restrictions on the export of food. Under situations that put pressure on global food security, it instead recommends the use of “food import facilities” so that an increase in food prices does not end up causing more hunger, social unrest or conflict.

    Focus and Factoids by Asif Iqbal.


    PARI Library’s health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


Klaus von Grebmer, Jill Bernstein, Miriam Wiemers, Laura Reiner, Marilena Bachmeier, Asja Hanano, Olive Towey, Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair, Connell Foley, Seth Gitter, Grace Larocque, Heidi Fritschel and Daniel Resnick


Concern Worldwide, Ireland; Welthungerhilfe, Germany


Oct, 2022