2009 Global Hunger Index - Facts and Findings: Sub-Saharan Africa, East Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Of the ten countries with the highest levels of hunger, and of the ten whose scores have actually increased since 1990, nine are in Sub-Saharan Africa in both cases.
  • Of the ten countries that most improved their GHI scores since 1990, none are in Sub-Saharan Africa, but Ghana cut its score by more than 50 percent, the only country in the region to do so.
  • High hunger levels in Sub-Saharan Africa are due to high child mortality rates and a significant proportion of people who lack sufficient calories. Low government effectiveness, conflict, political instability, and high rates of HIV/AIDS are also among the factors that contribute to high hunger levels.
  • In 2005, less than one-fourth of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa met the Millennium Development Goal target for gender parity in primary and secondary school enrollment rates. (Source: 2008 Global Gender Gap Index)
  • Reducing gender gaps in both schooling and control of agricultural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa could have the potential to increase agricultural productivity by 10–20 percent.

East Africa

  • Rwanda, Djibouti, Tanzania, and Kenya all have “alarming” levels of hunger with GHI scores of 25.4, 22.9, 21.2, and 20.2, respectively.
  • With a GHI score of 14.8, Uganda’s hunger level is considered “serious.”
  • Ethiopia has made significant progress in reducing hunger since 1990, with its GHI score falling from 43.5 to 30.8. In contrast, Kenya has not made any progress.
  • Rwanda has the highest child mortality rate in the region (18.1 percent), followed by Burundi (18 percent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (16.1), Uganda (13), Djibouti (12.7), Kenya (12.1), Ethiopia (11.9), and Tanzania (11.6.). Eritrea has the lowest rate, at 7 percent.
  • Burundi has the highest prevalence of underweight in children at 35 percent, followed closely by Ethiopia and Eritrea, at 34.6 and 34.5 percent, respectively, and then the DRC (25.1), Djibouti (24), Rwanda (18), Tanzania (16.7), Kenya (16.5), and Uganda (16.4).
  • With regard to the proportion of the population who are undernourished, Uganda performs the best by far, with a rate of 15 percent. The DRC and Eritrea have the worst scores (76 and 68 percent, respectively), followed by Burundi (63), Ethiopia (46), Rwanda (40), Tanzania (35), and Djibouti and Kenya, each at 32 percent.
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