Global Hunger Index: Why Are People Still Going Hungry in 2022?

Published: Nov 8, 2022 Reading time: 3 minutes
Global Hunger Index: Why Are People Still Going Hungry in 2022?
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The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is an annual collaboration from our Alliance2015 partners, Concern Worldwide and WeltHungerHilfe, seeking to map out the state of hunger and undernutrition across the developing world and to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels. For the 2022 edition, the GHI reviewed the situation in 121 countries around the globe - with alarming results.

Compared to recent years, the Global Hunger Index 2022 shows progress towards eliminating hunger has slowed or stalled in many cases. But why? Naturally, with any social phenomenon, the causes are often complex or opaque. However, we can see that the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict—in Ukraine and elsewhere—and the effects of the climate crisis have conspired to cause a downward trend across the Index. 

These crises exacerbate already extant causal factors such as poverty, inequality, poor governance, inadequate infrastructure, and unsuitable or unsustainable agricultural productivity—all of which contribute to hunger and vulnerability across the world. We work to address these issues through a wide range of measures because we know that complex problems do not have simple solutions.

12 countries with our missions are seriously threatened by hunger

Of 121 countries around the world , we at People in Need are extremely distressed to see that 12 countries in which we have missions have hunger levels ranging from "moderate" to "alarming". However, despite this unsettling news, we are committed to continuing our work in these countries to help reduce the level of hunger and undernutrition.

Countries below the Sahara in Africa and nations in South Asia have the highest levels of hunger. Because of this, they are most at risk of disaster, either natural or human-instigated. Worse still, many of these countries have growing populations, and thus the potential for increased human suffering is substantial. In many of these countries, and often even in certain regions of specific countries, the existing food systems are inadequate and contribute to increased hunger—in Cambodia and Angola, we work to enhance food security by reinforcing agricultural sustainability and access to markets. These activities ensure that food is produced sustainably and that it gets to those who need it.

What is the Global Hunger Index

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) - the result of an annual collaboration from our Alliance2015 partners, Concern Worldwide and WeltHungerHilfeis a peer-reviewed measurement tool that seeks to trigger action to reduce global hunger. To this end, we at People in Need feel that it is crucial to amplify the GHI's message and underline the fact that despite the challenges, NGOs and CSOs worldwide are working hard to redress the wrongs of food shortage.

According to the Index, there is a risk that without concerted actions, approximately 46 countries will fail to achieve "low" hunger by 2030. Further, it notes that 44 countries currently have serious or alarming hunger levels; even more concerning is that twenty have higher scores in 2022 than in 2014. It states that levels of hunger and undernutrition vary widely within countries; we know this first-hand from our work in DR Congo, where our teams working in the remote South Kivu Province are helping to combat a high level of hunger that has been caused by a confluence conflict, migration, and isolation.

As the Index suggests, things are likely to worsen as food prices and global poverty increase, conflict and COVID disrupt supply chains, and we edge closer to climate catastrophe—knowing what we know, now is not the time for complacency. At PIN, we are in complete agreement with the Index that the scale of global hunger is a scandal. More to the point, it is a scandal of our own making, and worse still, it is entirely solvable; humanity has the power to end conflict, control the pandemic, and mitigate climate change. But we must consciously choose to do these things if we wish to end the shame of world hunger. 

Author: Dermot Nolan, Anna Munter

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