Media Factsheet

Global Hunger Index 2015 - Africa Fact Sheet

Oct 12, 2015
United States

38 countries in Africa South of the Sahara included in the report
Hunger in the region rated “serious” 

Key Findings and Trends

Scores among the 117 countries in the report varied widely. Scores of 9.9 or lower denote low hunger; scores between 35.0 and 49.9 denote alarming hunger. This year no countries hit the threshold of 50, which signifies extremely alarming hunger levels. Yet, it is impossible to know exactly how severe hunger is in some of the world’s poorest countries that lack GHI scores.

  • The countries in Africa South of the Sahara with the lowest hunger levels are: South Africa, Gabon, Mauritius and Ghana.
  • The countries in Africa South of the Sahara with the highest hunger levels are: Central African Republic, Chad, Zambia, Sierra Leone, and Madagascar.
    • Hunger in these countries is considered “alarming.”
    • These five countries are among only eight countries in the world that have “alarming” hunger levels.
  • Since 2000, Rwanda, Angola, and Ethiopia have seen the biggest reductions in hunger, with GHI scores down by between 25 and 28 points in each country.
  • Africa South of the Sahara has a higher level of hunger than any other region on the planet.
  • Regional GHI scores:
    • Africa South of the Sahara: 32.2
    • South Asia: 29.4
    • East & Southeast Asia: 13.2
    • Near East & North Africa: 11.5
    • Eastern Europe & Commonwealth of Independent States: 8.3
    • Latin America & Caribbean: 8.0
  • Africa South of the Sahara and the Near East and North Africa each reduced their GHI scores by 28 percent compared to their 2000 GHI scores.
    • Despite improvements such as strong economic growth and public health advances, such as lower transmission levels and better treatment of HIV/AIDS and fewer cases of malaria, the high levels of hunger in Africa south of the Sahara are still cause for concern.
  • Tremendous progress has been made toward eliminating global hunger. The level of hunger in developing countries has fallen by 27 percent since 2000.
    • Sixty-eight countries—including 27 in Africa South of the Sahara—made considerable progress with scores that dropped by between 25.0 percent and 49.9 percent.
    • Globally, despite the progress made, levels of hunger remain “serious” or “alarming” in 52 of the 117 countries with GHI scores.
    • The 2015 GHI score for the developing world is 21.7, which is still considered “serious.”
  • Despite the improvements, problems persist around the world.
    • 795 million people are still chronically undernourished—about one in nine on the planet.
    • More than one in four children are affected by stunting; and 9 percent of children are affected by wasting.
  • Conflicts are strongly associated with severe hunger. The countries with the highest GHI scores tend to be those engaged in or recently emerged from war.
    • Central African Republic and Chad are the worst-scoring countries in this year’s GHI. Both have experienced violent conflict and political instability in recent years.
    • In Angola, Ethiopia and Rwanda, hunger levels have fallen substantially since the large scale civil wars of the 1990s and 2000s have ended.
    • Severe hunger can exist even without conflicts: Several South Asian and African countries face serious or alarming levels of hunger despite being relatively stable and peaceful in recent history.

Global Hunger Index Background

The 2015 Global Hunger Index (GHI) is calculated for 117 countries for which data are available for four indicators: 

  • the percentage of the population that is undernourished,
  • the percentage of children under age five who suffer from wasting (low weight for height),
  • the percentage of children under age five who suffer from stunting (low height for age), and
  • the percentage of children who die before the age of five (child mortality).

What are the scores based on?
The scores are based on source data for the four component indicators. The data for these indicators are continually revised by the United Nations agencies that compile them, and each year's GHI report reflects these revisions. The 2015 GHI reflects country-level data and projections spanning the period 2010 to 2016.

How do you interpret a GHI score?
An increase in a country's GHI score indicates that the hunger situation is worsening, while a decrease in the score indicates improvement in the country's hunger situation. 

Could GHI scores be calculated for all countries?
No, due to missing or unavailable data, GHI scores could not be calculated for all countries. This year's report does not include GHI scores for several countries that had alarming or extremely alarming GHI scores in the 2014 report, including Burundi, Comoros, and Eritrea. In addition, due to missing data, it has not been possible to calculate a GHI score for the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the 2011 GHI report, when it had the highest GHI score of all countries.  

More information can be found at:

Countries in Africa South of the Sahara for which 2015 GHI scores were calculated: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

For more information, please contact:
IFPRI: Daniel Burnett, +1 202 627 4311 
Concern Worldwide: Paul O’Mahony, +353 1 4491309 
Welthungerhilfe: Simone Pott, +49 228 22 88 132