African Hunger Facts.

• Today, one in three Africans are malnourished, and about half of it’s nearly 700 million people live on less than $1 a day; most (80 percent) live on less than $2 a day.

• Income growth in Africa barely has kept pace with population growth, remaining below the 2.5 percent and causing Africa’s share of the world’s absolute poor to increase from one-fourth to nearly a third.

• Africa is a diverse continent that contains nearly a fourth of the lands total land area. Despite its immense size, only 430 million areas – less than one-fifth of the entire United States – are considered suitable for farming. Land degradation is a major threat to Africa’s agricultural productivity growth. 

• Any effort to develop agriculture and improve household food security must include a focus on women. Most African farmers are women, and female headed households are more prone to hunger and poverty. African women generate two-thirds of Africa’s agricultural production, and participate in trade and processing.

• Sub-Saharan Africa enters the new millennium as the one area of the world where hunger is both pervasive and increasing.

• Most Africans are small-holder farmers. Poverty keeps them from investing in land improvements, irrigation and fertilizer. Thus, African farmers are extremely vulnerable to drought, flooding, and political conflict.

• A problem most African countries have is providing sufficient food for their people. The reasons for this are complex and include declining world prices for commodities as well as escalating debts.

• The rapid spread of AIDS also affects hunger. In some African countries, between 30 percent and 40 percent of adults are infected. 

• Conflict also affects hunger in Africa. In 2001 civil conflict and war affected 16 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Internal conflicts interrupted progress in countries, such as Uganda, that have achieved a measure of food security in recent years. 

• In eastern Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia continue to suffer from prolonged periods of drought. The pastoral regions of these countries are the most vulnerable, and almost 2 million people in the Horn of Africa received emergency rations from World Food Program in 2001.


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