Geographies in Depth

A fifth of people in Africa are suffering from chronic hunger. This map shows where the situation is most severe

Children in Africa eating food.

Chronic hunger affects over 275 million people in Africa. Image: Unsplash/bill wegener

Martin Armstrong
Data Journalist, Statista
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Africa

  • Around 20% of people in Africa are facing chronic hunger, compared with only 10% globally.
  • The situation is worst in Somalia, and ‘very serious’ in seven other countries.
  • Russia's war on Ukraine has exacerbated food supply problems, while climate change and the pandemic have also contributed.

278 million people in Africa suffer from chronic hunger. This corresponds to 20 percent of the continent's population. By comparison, ten percent are affected when looked at globally. According to Welthungerhilfe, the main drivers of hunger include wars, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most recently, the Russian attack on Ukraine further exacerbated food supply problems. Even before that though, the situation in many African countries was serious, as this map based on the 2021 World Hunger Index illustrates. The index "annually measures and compares the severity of hunger and malnutrition in the world, different regions and individual countries."

The situation is particularly dire in Somalia, with seven other countries rated as "very serious" - Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Burundi, the Central African Republic the Comoros and Madagascar. Only a handful of countries can be classified as "low" or "moderate" on the severity scale.

Grading Africa's hunger from World Hunger Index 2021.
Map of Africa grading world hunger in different regions from low to severe and no data according to World Hunger Index 2021. Image: Statista.
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