2011 GHI - Background Facts and Key Findings

  • The 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) is calculated for 122 developing countries and countries in transition for which data on the three components of hunger are available.

  • This year’s GHI reflects data from 2004 to 2009—the most recent available country-level data on the three GHI components. It is thus a snapshot not of the present, but of the recent past.

  • The Index combines three equally weighted indicators into one score: the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the under-five child mortality rate.

  • An increase in a country’s GHI score indicates that the hunger situation is worsening, while a decrease in the score indicates an improvement in the country’s hunger situation.

  • The 2011 world GHI fell by 26 percent from the 1990 world GHI, from a score of 19.7 to 14.6.

  • Gabon had the best/lowest 2011 GHI score, followed by Mauritius & Paraguay (tied/same score), China, El Salvador & the Kyrgyz Republic (three-way tie), Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, and Morocco & Peru (also tied).

  • South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have the highest hunger levels, with regional scores of 22.6 and 20.5, respectively.

  • From the 1990 GHI to the 2011 GHI, 15 countries reduced their scores by 50 percent or more.

  • Between the 1990 GHI and the 2011 GHI, 19 countries moved out of the bottom two categories— “extremely alarming” and alarming.”

  • In terms of absolute progress, Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, and Vietnam saw the greatest improvements in their scores from the 1990 to 2011 GHI.

  • In terms of percentage decrease in GHI scores from the 1990 GHI to the 2011 GHI, the following countries saw the greatest improvements, beginning with the most improved: Kuwait, Turkey, Malaysia, Mexico, Islamic Republic of Iran, Albania, Peru, Nicaragua, Ghana, and Fiji.

  • From the 1990 GHI to the 2011 GHI, the hunger situation worsened in six countries, in the following order, in terms of percentage increase in GHI score: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, North Korea, the Comoros, Swaziland, and Cote d’Ivoire.

  • Among these six countries, the DRC stands out. Its GHI score rose by about 63 percent.

  • The 2011 report contains not only the 2011 and 1990 GHI, but also GHI scores for two other reference periods—1996 and 2001—that are comparable with one another.

Published date: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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