This year’s Global Hunger Index (GHI) brings us face to face with a grim reality. Afghanistan ranks 109th on the Global Hunger Index 2022 of 121 countries ranked.
With a score of 29.9 on the Global Hunger Index, Afghanistan has been ranked behind all south Asian countries.
More than a year after foreign forces withdrew and the Taliban took power across the whole of Afghanistan, the country’s economy has withered and development aid and assets are still largely frozen, leaving the country facing its most serious risk of famine in 20 years. The past 12 months have seen Afghanistan’s fragile economy crumble, jobs disappear, livelihoods vanish, and climate shocks destroy homes and livelihoods.
GHI scores are based on the values of four component indicators – undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, child mortality. While undernourishment represents the share of the population with insufficient caloric intake, child stunting indicates the share of children under age five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition. Child wasting reflects acute undernutrition in children under age five with low weight for their height.
For 15 countries -- including Guinea, Mozambique, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria -- ranks could not be determined owing to lack of data, the report said.
A higher score in the index implies a worsening hunger situation, whereas zero is the best score – indicating no hunger. The GHI assigns the scores in five severity levels – low (9.9 or less), moderate (10.0-19.9), serious (20.0-34.9), alarming (35.0-49.9) and extremely alarming (50 or higher).
The latest index was published jointly on 13 October by international humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide and Germany's Welthungerhilfe – one of the largest private aid organisations in the world.
Afghanistan (109th), India (107th) and Pakistan (99th) are the bottom three countries in South Asia.
The GHI found that South Asia has the world's highest levels of child stunting (low body weight to height) and child wasting (malnourished or emaciated) while south Saharan countries in Africa have the highest levels of undernourishment and child mortality rates.