This was highlighted in the report Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
The report states that 237 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are suffering from chronic malnutrition, overturning the improvements accomplished in the previous years. "The worsening trend in Africa is due to difficult global economic and worsening environmental conditions and, in many countries, conflict and climate variability and extremes, sometimes combined. Economic growth slowed in 2016 due to weak commodity prices, in particular for oil and minerals. Food insecurity has worsened in countries affected by conflict, often exacerbated by drought or floods. For example, in Southern and Eastern Africa, many countries suffered from drought," FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, and ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, said in their joint foreword of the report.
The key figures of the report includes the following:
- number of hungry people in Africa: 257 million or 1 in every 5 people
- children under five affected by stunting (low height-for-age): 59 million (30.3 percent)
- children under five affected by wasting (low weight-for-height): 13.8 million (7.1 percent)
- children under five who are overweight (high weight-for-height): 9.7 million (5 percent)
- percentage of women of reproductive age affected by anaemia: 38 percent
- percentage of infants aged below 6 months who were exclusively breastfed: 43.5 percent
- percentage of adults who are obese: 11.8 percent
Download the report from the FAO website.