The Global Hunger Index (GHI) measures the nutritional status of the population in one country each year using four indicators:
- proportion of undernourished people in the total population
- proportion of stunted children under the age of five
- proportion of wasted children under the age of five
- mortality rate of children under five years
In 2017 Uganda reached 32.0 points and improved marginally by 1.33 points compared to the previous year. The situation in the country is still considered to be serious and even problematic in terms of the GHI average (29.4) for the sub-Saharan region. In the ranking of the 119 countries covered by the 2017 GHI, Uganda ranks 103rd, behind Côte d’Ivoire (88) and Zambia (115). Worst is the nutritional situation in Sierra Leone, Chad and the Central African Republic (117-119) (1).
Malnutrition and growth retardations are the biggest problem. Very alarming is the raising proportion of undernourished people in Uganda, which has grown from 29.8 % in 2009 to 39.0 % in 2016, while in most countries these numbers have declined. The proportion of stunted children under the age of five declined despite a major effort from 38.7 % in 2010 to just 34.2 % in 2016. These growth retardations occur because of an insufficient supply of micronutrients. 4.3 % of children under five are still wasted, meaning they suffer from acute malnutrition. The rate of child mortality decreased from 8.6 % to 5.5 % and thus still remains at a high level.
The GHI points out that regional aspects play an important role as well. In Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania major inequalities within the countries result in the fact that children are less likely to be stunted if they live in the capital city, close to the centers of power.
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(1) Cf. Welthungerhilfe, IFPRI und Concern Worldwide. (2017) „Golbal Hunger-Index. The Inequalities of Hunger“ Washington, DC/Bonn/Dublin, available http://www.globalhungerindex.org/pdf/en/2017.pdf