Global Hunger Index: Africa the Worst Affected by Hunger

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It has been estimated that right now there are approximately 800 million people in the world who are suffering from chronic undernourishment. Despite progress being made on this front, it would still be a tough battle to eradicate hunger entirely from the world. However, there is a disparity among nations regarding the Global Hunger Index, with the African nations being the most affected and some of them even falling in the alarming, or serious hunger situation.

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, the hunger situation was extremely acute in the Central African Republic (CAR). According to the data, CAR had a Global Hunger Index score of 46.1 in 2016.

The Global Hunger Index lists the countries from 0 to 100 (0 meaning that there is no hunger, and those with 100 are the worst of the lot). However, both these extremes are never reached in reality. Further, the list has been divided into sections. The situation is “alarming” in countries which fall in the range of 35-to-50. The situation is “serious” in countries in the range of 20-to-35. In countries, where the range is from 10-to-20, the situation is “moderate”, while the countries having a score below 10 reported a “low” Global Hunger Index score.

The hunger situation in the African nation of Chad was equally alarming as that of the CAR. The second most affected country in the world, Chad had a Global Hunger Index score of 44.3. Other countries where the situation was alarming included Sierra Leone, Yemen, Madagascar, Haiti and Zambia, where the index score ranged between 35 and 39.

Among the countries where the situation was serious, Afghanistan stood at the top. The country’s Global Hunger Index score in 2016 was 34.8, while that in Timor-Leste it was 34.3. Niger recorded a Global Hunger Index of 33.7. Some of the other countries where the situation was serious were Pakistan, North Korea, India, Bangladesh and Rwanda to name a few. Here the index score stood at 33.4, 28.6, 28.5, 27.1 and 27.4 respectively.

Guatemala was placed at the bottom of the category where the situation was serious with a score of 20.7. However, barring Guatemala, all the other countries in the serious category were located either in Asia or Africa.

Nations such as Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Cuba, Ukraine, China, Russia, Malaysia, and many other nations witnessed a very low Global Hunger Index score. In these nations, the score in 2016 stood below 10.

The data provides information on the Global Hunger Index score per country.

Country Global Hunger Index Score (2016)
Central African Republic 46.1
Chad 44.3
Zambia 39
Haiti 36.9
Madagascar 35.4
Yemen, Rep. 35
Sierra Leone 35
Afghanistan 34.8
Timor-Leste 34.3
Niger 33.7
Pakistan 33.4
Ethiopia 33.4
Angola 32.8
Djibouti 32.7
Mozambique 31.7
Namibia 31.4
Burkina Faso 31
Liberia 30.7
Tajikistan 30
Zimbabwe 28.8
North Korea 28.6
India 28.5
Tanzania 28.4
Mali 28.1
Lao PDR 28.1
Guinea 28.1
Rwanda 27.4
Guinea-Bissau 27.4
Bangladesh 27.1
Malawi 26.9
Congo, Rep. 26.6
Uganda 26.4
Côte d’Ivoire 25.7
Nigeria 25.5
Sri Lanka 25.5
Swaziland 24.2
Benin 23.2
Botswana 23
Cameroon 22.9
Lesotho 22.7
Togo 22.4
Mauritania 22.1
Myanmar 22
Iraq 22
Nepal 21.9
Kenya 21.9
Indonesia 21.9
Cambodia 21.7
Gambia, The 20.9
Guatemala 20.7
Philippines 19.9
Senegal 16.5
Bolivia 15.4
Vietnam 14.5
Guyana 14.5
Ghana 13.9
Ecuador 13.9
Mongolia 13.8
Egypt, Arab Rep. 13.7
Nicaragua 13.3
Mauritius 13.2
Honduras 13.2
Uzbekistan 13.1
Turkmenistan 12.3
Gabon 12
Albania 11.9
South Africa 11.8
Thailand 11.8
El Salvador 11.2
Dominican Republic 11.1
Paraguay 10.4
Oman 10.4
Suriname 10.1
Azerbaijan 9.8
Malaysia 9.7
Panama 9.3
Morocco 9.3
Moldova 9.2
Kyrgyz Republic 9.1
Algeria 8.7
Armenia 8.7
Peru 8.6
Trinidad & Tobago 8.5
Fiji 8.5
Colombia 8.5
Bulgaria 8.3
Georgia 8.2
Jamaica 7.9
Kazakhstan 7.8
China 7.7
Mexico 7.2
Serbia 7.1
Lebanon 7.1
Venezuela, RB 7
Russian Federation 6.8
Iran, Islamic Rep. 6.7
Macedonia, FYR 5.8
Jordan 5.7
Uruguay 5.6
Tunisia 5.5
Romania 5.5
Slovak Republic 5.3
Ukraine <5
Turkey <5
Saudi Arabia <5
Montenegro <5
Latvia <5
Lithuania <5
Kuwait <5
Croatia <5
Estonia <5
Cuba <5
Costa Rica <5
Chile <5
Brazil <5
Belarus <5
Bosnia & Herzegovina <5
Argentina <5

(Data sourced from International Food Policy Research Institute)

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