As the world approaches the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—which include a goal of reducing the proportion of hungry people by half—the 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI) offers a useful multidimensional overview of global hunger. The 2010 GHI is the fifth in an annual series that records the state of global, regional, and national hunger. The 2010 GHI shows some improvement over the 1990 GHI, falling by almost one-quarter, but overall the index for hunger in the world remains at a level characterized as serious.
The GHI captures three dimensions of hunger: insufficient availability of calories, shortfalls in the nutritional status of children, and child mortality. Accordingly, the Index includes the following three equally weighted indicators: the proportion of people who are undernourished, as estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the prevalence of underweight in children under the age of five, as compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO); and the under-five mortality rate, as reported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The 2010 Index reflects data from 2003 to 2008—the most recent global data available on the three GHI components.