Child Hunger in African Countries

Child Hunger in African Countries


Child Hunger in African Countries


Hunger is on the rise in almost all African countries, making Africa the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment, at almost 20 percent. (UNECIF, 2019) In many African countries, the rates of undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality are unacceptably high. In terms of undernourishment and child mortality, Africa south of the Sahara has the highest rates. Study shows that one in three African children are stunted and hunger accounts for almost half of all child deaths across the continent. (Global Hunger Index,2018)And if we do nothing, Africa could have one billion undernourished, malnourished and hungry children and young people by 2050.

Study shows that Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest prevalence of hunger, with the rate increasing from 20.7 per cent in 2014 to 23.2 per cent in 2017. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of undernourished people increased from 195 million in 2014 to 237 million in 2017. Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45 per cent) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. 149 million children under 5 years of age—22 per cent of the global under-5 population—were still chronically undernourished in 2018. (UN, 2019)

African Countries Facing Hunger Issues


Kenya has had a 2% average growth in GDP per capita but also a 2.5% increase in stunting. Over 1 million Kenyan people suffer from food insecurity, and about 240,000 of them are children. 2,600 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition. (, 2019)


In Tanzania, around 42% of the children under the age of five are stunted in growth. One-third of Tanzania’s children between the ages of 6 and 59 months are deficient in iron and Vitamin. The adolescent girls and young women of the country also are commonly seen to be severely malnourished. (Nag & Oishimaya, 2017)


Uganda suffers from high rates of malnutrition because of poor sanitary conditions and lack of scientific parenting methods. On average, anaemia affects half the population, and in some areas stunting rates are approaching 30%. Conflict and climate has been proved to be drivers of food crises in 2018. (UNECIF, 2019)


Study shows 5.1 million Nigerians are malnourished. One-third of children under five are stunted. UNECIF said 90,000 children are expected to die in Nigeria over the next 12 months, which means more than 240 child death each day. (Bulman, 2017)


More than 40 per cent of Malawi’s population lives on less than US$1 a day, and 90 per cent of those living in affected areas depend on subsistence farming. Continuous and severe inflation and poor natural conditions make most of population facing potential famine and the hunger is chronic. (Sparrow, 2013)


UNICEF, 2019, State of food security and nutrition in the world 2019

Global hunger index, 2018, 2018 Global hunger index, Global hunger index

May Bulman, 2017, 90,000 children are expected to die in Nigeria over the next 12 months, Unicef warns

Sen Nag, Oishimaya, 2017, “Most Malnourished Countries In The World.” WorldAtlas, Apr. 25, 2017,

The guardian, 2019, Nearly half of all child deaths in Africa stem from hunger, study shows

John Sparrow, 2013, Malawi’s season of hunger bites,