Importance Of Global Hunger Index

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Global Hunger Index and its relevance

The global hunger index was proposed by International Food Policy Research Institute in December 2006 by Doris Wiesmann in FCND Discussion Paper 212 A Global Hunger Index: Measurement concept, Ranking of countries and Trends. In this paper, the author argues that hunger is a multifaceted problem. It results in loss of energy, apathy, increased susceptibility to disease, disability and premature deaths. Its measurement requires an index which takes into account these various aspects. He also says that while the best practices to fight hunger have been known for long, the real cause of the problem lies in lack of political will to address the problem. A comprehensive index can help in making a stronger case monitoring and solving the problem than monitoring individual components of the index.

The determinants of hunger can be viewed from 3 levels, as the author points out. At the national level it is determined by the economy, technology used, government policies, cultural aspects of the nation under consideration etc. At the household level it is determined by household food security, caring capacity and knowledge, and heath environments. Any inefficiency at any of these levels can lead to malnutrition, diseases and other hunger related problems. These problems in turn lead to loss of productivity in the long run.

GHI tries to capture the following dimensions of hunger:
1) Insufficient availability of food
2) Shortfalls in

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