Global Hunger Index 2014

The current figures on global hunger

There has been success in the fight against hunger, but the situation remains serious

(13/10/2014) The member states of the United Nations have committed to halve hunger and poverty by 2015. This goal is not expected to be achieved. The values of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) have improved 39 per cent since 1990 but, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 805 million people worldwide do not consume enough calories to be full.  

According to the Global Hunger Index, the situation in 14 countries is “alarming”: in particular in Africa, south of the Sahara, as well as in Haiti, Laos, East Timor and Yemen. As in the previous year, Eritrea and Burundi are ranked as “serious”. Here more than 60 per cent of the population count as undernourished.

Graphic from the Global Hunger Index 2014: World map showing global hunger according to severity. Clicking on the graphic will take you to the interactive map.
Global Hunger Index 2014: Global hunger according to severity. Click on the graphic to go to the interactive map.
Graphic from the Global Hunger Index 2014, showing the winners and losers since 1990. The losers are Swaziland, the Comoros, Iraq and Burundi. Winners include Panama, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Peru.
Global Hunger Index 2014: winners and losers.
Graphic from the Global Hunger Index 2014, showing the number of countries according to the rankings.
Global Hunger Index 2014: Number of countries according to severity.

However, there is also good news: in comparison to 1990, 26 countries have been able to reduce hunger by at least half, including Angola, Ghana, Malawi, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. While Angola has been recovering slowly from civil war since 2002, the governments of Ghana and Vietnam have achieved an impressive improvement in the nutritional situation in their countries, through investments in agriculture, rural development, education and health. 

Malnutrition leads to lasting damage in children 

Some reports of success, however, overlook one form of hunger: hidden hunger. This deficiency in micronutrients, that is, in essential vitamins and trace elements, leads to lasting damage within the first 1000 days, especially in children. For healthy development, not only is a sufficient quantity of food important, but also the quality and balanced nature of this food. Worldwide, around two billion people are affected by hidden hunger – including in both emerging and industrial nations. This form of malnutrition is reflected in two of the three components of the GHI: underweight in children and child mortality. 

Malnutrition belongs on the international agenda

At the end of November 2014, the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will take place in Rome, organised by the FAO and the World Health Organisation (WHO), in order to anchor the topic of nutrition more strongly in both the international agenda and national politics. Concrete aims and measures should also place the forms of malnutrition as a central focus, in order that the right to adequate food in sufficient quantity and quality can become a reality for all.

Larissa Neubauer is an employee of Welthungerhilfe in Bonn. The unabridged article can be found in the journal Welternährung 3/2014 (in German only).







Hunger on the international agenda

Hunger on the international agenda


Hunger on the international agenda

From 19th to 21st November in Rome the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will take place under the leadership of the FAO and WHO. We will present the results of the Global Hunger Index.