Date: Tuesday, 04 July 2017
ADDIS ABABA, July 2 (Xinhua) -- A report revealed on Sunday that 28 African nations, accounting for over half of the African Union's (AU) 55 member states, still fall into the "serious" category in terms of hunger level.
The Global Hunger Index Africa Edition report, launched in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, said that despite a reduction of hunger level on the continent since 2000, the level of hunger in many countries, remains "unacceptably high" based on its scoring on 42 African countries where data could be calculated.
The hunger index is classified into five grades in severity scale, including low, moderate, serious, alarming, and extremely alarming.
Only three African countries on the continent, namely Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco have achieved a low level of hunger, while 28 countries fall under the "serious level of hunger", and five countries under "alarming" categories, which include Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Zambia, Chad, and Central African Republic.
The report, released by the AU's implementing agency NEPAD together with other partners, said Burundi, Comoros, DR Congo, Eritrea, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan are countries with insufficient data for assessing hunger and malnutrition levels.
In 2014, AU heads of states made a decision, dubbed Malabo Declaration, to accelerate Africa's agriculture growth and transformation, with targets among others to end hunger by 2025.
Going by historical trends and projections, it is highly unlikely that the Malabo declaration target of eradicating hunger will be realized by 2025, noted the report.
Speaking during the launch of the report, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer (CEO), underlined the need to accelerate the progress on addressing malnutrition and hunger in Africa.
The report called upon African countries to take measures such as integrating actions with national agriculture investment plans, improving supporting facilities to prevent food loss and enhancing infrastructure to boost trade.
The report noted that the cost of reactive malnutrition measures is high, for example Malawi is spending up to 10 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), on addressing the effects of malnutrition.