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Global Hunger Index 2015

Global Hunger Index 2015: Hunger and armed conflict

Does armed conflict lead to hunger? Does hunger lead to armed conflict? The latest Global Hunger Index has examined these topical questions.

Direct download: Global Hunger Index 2015

The Global Hunger Index is a joint report by Welthungerhilfe, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Irish non-governmental organisation Concern Worldwide. Its 10th edition was published on the 12th of October 2015.

In 2014, around 42,500 people every day left their home countries as they were no longer safe there. The majority of them fled from wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Countries at war or where a conflict has recently ended are often the worst-scoring countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) with regard to their hunger levels. Access to education is difficult in conflict countries and the spread of stunting and child mortality is significantly higher than in comparable stable countries.

As such, hunger levels in the Central African Republic, Chad and Zambia are the highest. In the first two countries, people have been living with great instability and armed conflicts for years. Even though it’s not the single cause of war: conflict and hunger are closely connected.

Andrea Sonntag

Andrea Sonntag

Senior Advisor
Nutrition Policy


More figures on hunger in the world:

  • In 52 of 117 countries, which are listed in the Global Hunger Index, the hunger situation is 'serious' or 'alarming'.

  • No country this year is ranked as 'very alarming'. However, data is missing from, among others, Burundi, Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, which in previous years have shown high levels of hunger. In addition, many of these countries are affected by armed conflicts.

  • In Africa south of the Sahara and in South Asia, the hunger situation is also most critical, even if there have been overall successes in the fight against hunger.

  • One in every four children in the world is stunted due to chronic undernutrition.

  • 9 percent of children, so almost one in 10, is wasted from acute undernutrition.

  • Almost half of all deaths of children under five years of age are caused by malnutrition.

  • Overall, levels of hunger have fallen by 27 percent since 2000.

  • 17 countries, including Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Mongolia, Peru, Ukraine and Venezuela, have reduced their scores by 50 percent or more.

  • In absolute terms, Rwanda, Angola and Ethiopia saw the biggest improvements in scores between the GHI 2000 and the GHI 2015, but their hunger levels remain high.


10. Global Hunger Index with improved indicators

The joint report from Welthungerhilfe, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Irish non-governmental organisation Concern Worldwide shows the development of the hunger situation at a global, regional and national level and examines the reasons for positive and negative developments.

In 2015, the indicators for measuring the hunger situation were improved. Instead of using the indicator for child underweight, the proportion of those suffering from stunting and those suffering from wasting are taken into account. The first is a sign of chronic undernutrition. The second is a sign of acute undernutrition.

Global Hunger Index 2006-2015: A decade of data on hunger - What happened?

More material and reports on the GHI 2015

War in Mali

Poverty, hunger and a little bit of hope

Millions went hungry, hundreds of thousands fled the violence. Now people are hoping for a bit more stability.

Hunger can be conquered

"Famines are manmade disasters"

Hunger is a manmade disaster. Thus men are also able to end hunger. A comment by Alex de Waal on the link of armed conflict and hunger.

Archive: GHI 2014

Global Hunger Index 2014

The challenge of hidden hunger

The Global Hunger Index supplies facts and figures on hunger and poverty. In 2014, its focus lies on the hidden hunger: micronutrient deficiency.

GHI 2015 launch

Video: Roundtable and GHI 2015 launch at Expo Milan

Blogathon: Armed conflict and the challenge of hunger
Inside GHI 2015

Video: Inside GHI 2015 - Data, figures, focal points

What the GHI measures
  1. Proportion of undernourished people in the population.
  2. Proportion of children under the age of five who suffer from wasting.
  3. Proportion of children under the age of five who suffer from stunting.
  4. Proportion of children who die before their fifth birthday.

The GHI is based on a 100-point scale whose extremes are never reached.

  • Scoring up to 10 points = 'low' hunger
  • Scoring more than 50 points = 'extremely alarming' hunger

Stunting = Children under five years old whose height is too low for their age (with reference to chronic undernutrition)

Wasting = Children under the age of five whose weight is too low for their height (with reference to acute undernutrition)

Hunger = Distress due to the lack of food

Undernutrition = Goes beyond calories and signifies deficiencies in any or all of the following: energy (less than 1800 kcal/day), protein, or essential vitamins and minerals.

Malnutrition = Micronutrient deficiency or hidden hunger. A form of undernutrition, in which too few vitamins and minerals are absorbed and processed.