Africa second in UN world hunger ranking

Africa has been ranked the second continent with the highest number of people suffering from chronic hunger in the world.

According to a United Nations report released on Friday, out of the 815 million undernourished people globally, 243 million were from Africa, and 520 million from Asia, which was ranked first.

Latin America and the Caribbean were ranked third, with 42 million people affected.

The report, titled The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, says world hunger in 2016 was on the rise again after a decade, citing the effect of conflicts and climate change.

HARDEST HIT

It also ranked Africa as the continent hardest hit in terms of prevalence, with some 20 per cent of its population hungry in 2016.

East Africa was hit hardest on the continent, with a prevalence of 33.9 per cent. Middle Africa was second, with a prevalence of 22.7 per cent.

Next were Sub-Saharan Africa, with a prevalence of 22.7 per cent, West Africa (11.5 per cent), North Africa (8.3 per cent) and South Africa with 8 per cent.

Asia was the second continent, with 11.7 per cent prevalence, while Latin America and the Caribbean had a prevalence of 6.6 per cent.

PREVALENCE ROSE

In 2015, the estimated number of undernourished people was 777 million. This means the prevalence of hunger in the global population rose from 10.6 per cent in 2015 to 11 per cent in 2016.

The document estimates that in 2014, there were 775 million people who were undernourished.

“Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature,” says the report.

According to the document, 489 million out of the 815 million undernourished people live in countries affected by conflict.

SOUNDED ALARM

The report also indicates that multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions globally.

Unicef also sounded the alarm over the food situation in a July 19 report, quoting the National Drought Management Authority’s (NDMA) early warning bulletin for June.

“NDMA’s bulletin indicates that while the long rains have ended, many parts of the arid and semi-arid lands are still experiencing long distances between home and water sources, unusually high food prices, and worrying levels of malnutrition,” said Unicef.

The UN agency forecast bleak prospects for Kenya’s recovery efforts.

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