Rainer Zitelmann Contributor for Forbes
In 1990, the UN made a commitment to reduce global poverty by 50% within 25 years. That this ambitious goal has been achieved is largely due to China’s success. Within the same period, the percentage of the population living below the poverty line decreased from 56.8% to 42.7% across the continent of Africa. However, with 20% of Africans living under the specter of starvation – a higher percentage than anywhere else in the world – there is still a long way to go.
And the situation has not improved in recent years. In fact, it has deteriorated—especially in Africa. “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report for 2019 was jointly published by several UN organizations and confirms a rise in world hunger for the third year in a row. It is now estimated that there are 821 million chronically undernourished people in the world. In the period up to 2015, this number had been in decline. It has now climbed back to levels last seen in 2011.
Compared to 2017, the proportion of malnourished people (20%) has increased in almost all regions of Africa. The worst-hit regions are East Africa, where almost 31% of the population suffer from malnutrition, and Central Africa, where the figure is 26.5%.