In spite of significant progress, the level of hunger is still “serious”
Bangladesh has ranked 88 out of 117 qualifying countries on the latest Global Hunger Index (GHI) with a score of 25.8. It is a continuation of steady progress over the last decade; the score was 30.3 in 2010. Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe jointly produce the GNI index to track levels of hunger around the world.
The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. The GHI score incorporates four component indicators: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality. The indicators included in the GHI formula reflect caloric deficiencies as well as poor nutrition. The undernourishment indicator captures the nutrition situation of the population as a whole, while the indicators specific to children reflect the nutrition status within a particularly vulnerable subset of the population for whom a lack of dietary energy, protein, and/or micronutrients (essential vitamins and minerals) leads to a high risk of illness, poor physical and cognitive development, and death.
Although Bangladesh has made significant progress, the level of hunger is still “serious”. The “serious” level of hunger is evidence of poor performance in some key indicators. Over the years, we have made significant progress in reducing under-five mortality and undernourished population, owing to rapid economic development. However, the prevalence of stunting in children under five is well over 35%. The most distressing aspect of the analogy of the index is that “wasting” (low weight for height) has increased to 15% from 11% in 2010. The high levels of stunting and wasting indicate children are particularly vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies and are sensitive to even distribution of food within the household.
In South Asia, Bangladesh remains ahead of India (102) and Pakistan (94). Among other countries in the region, Sri Lanka ranked the highest at 66th, with a score of 17.1, while Afghanistan ranked lowest scoring 33.8.