Have you ever dreamed of making a difference in a child’s life or contributing to charity? Here’s your chance. Although there are many causes that require attention, one pressing issue that you need to consider is the rate of child hunger in Africa.
There are millions of young kids in Africa that go to bed hungry every night. Because of their growth requirements and young bodies, these children are vulnerable to hunger-related problems. While anyone can go hungry, the consequences of malnourishment on kids can last their whole life.
Giving a child a healthy meal every day can significantly improve their quality of life. It will provide the nutrients their brain needs and improve their brain’s function, so that they can perform better in school. Additionally, it will help them to attain a healthy body weight and keep dangerous illnesses like kwashiorkor and scurvy at bay.
In this article, we’ll go over the hunger statistics in Africa, the reason there’s so much hunger in the continent, the effects of extreme hunger, and the things you can do to help. Stick around to learn more.
Some Hunger in Africa Statistics
- With 413 million individuals surviving on less than $1.90 in a day, Sub-Saharan Africa contains the highest number of underprivileged kids experiencing extreme poverty and hunger.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, 319 million individuals lack access to improved and dependable drinking water sources.
- In 2020, 264.2 million individuals in Africa were malnourished.
- After Asia, Africa has the second-highest number of malnourished children and adults, with 418 million people suffering from malnutrition. This situation is primarily due to Asia’s large population: 4.4 billion compared to 1.2 billion in Africa.
- Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest incidence of malnutrition than any other location on the planet, with 24.1 percent of the population experiencing starvation.
Why There’s Hunger in Africa
The causes of widespread food scarcity and hunger in Africa are complicated and don’t, contrary to popular belief, stem from a lack of crop production or challenging weather conditions.
Many hectares of fertile land exist in Sub-Saharan Africa. The continent can feed itself, but several factors stand in the way of self-sufficiency and victory in its fight against hunger. They include:
- Population Growth
The number of individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa is rapidly increasing; however, the agricultural output is insufficient to sustain them.
- Unfair Trading Structures
The European Union and the United States subsidize domestic agricultural production, while African farmers can’t compete with low-cost food imports, which results in child hunger in Africa.
- Mismanagement and Debt Trap
Many African countries’ poor governance, corruption, and high indebtedness impede economic development. The result is widespread poverty and hunger.
Africa has its fair share of problems. People frequently engage in wars within and around the continent, and hunger and refugee misery usually follow these occurrences.
AIDS and other diseases such as malaria affect families, leading to low production in the continent and depriving families of breadwinners.
Effects of Hunger on Children
Every child needs a healthy life start. Sadly, children are the worst hit when it comes to hunger and starvation. Malnutrition has stunted the growth of an estimated 28 million starving children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It also causes mental development disorders and delays and contributes to Sub-Saharan Africa’s high infant mortality rates. Stunting is not the only type of undernutrition that affects children.
Kids suffering from severe malnourishment, the most lethal kind of extreme hunger, could die in a few days. The youngsters who pass away in this manner suffer significantly as their vital organ processes slow down and ultimately stop.
Malnourished and stunted children in Africa also perform poorly in school and have low self-confidence. They’re less productive, unhealthy, earn less, and have lower adult incomes than their peers.
In addition, all these factors impact a nation’s economic performance. Child hunger costs African countries 1.9 to 16.5 percent of their Gross domestic product.
What You Can Do to Help
Life shouldn’t be so hard for kids, especially in their early developing years. There are several ways you can help to reduce child hunger in Africa. A few of them include the following:
- You Can Make Donations
An excellent way to help child hunger in Africa is to make donations to a renowned charitable organization like Food For Life, dedicated to catering to the needs of these underprivileged individuals.
Although it’d be preferable if the entire world could achieve self-sufficiency, this will not happen overnight. Meanwhile, it’s critical to offer a helping hand to those in need. Contributions in the form of cash and food go a long way in helping to curb hunger in Africa.
- You Can Give Resources Directly
Farmers require many resources, from research and education to finances to purchase supplies, seeds, and nutrients, regardless of their location in the world.
Directly providing these resources to farmers is a quick way to enhance their livelihoods and crop yields and the nutrition and health of their households and communities.
Additionally, according to the UN, giving resources to farmers helps build personal and communal food security. It can also help alleviate poverty because extreme hunger and poverty enjoy a “cyclical relationship” in Africa.
Hungry people find it challenging to work, and those who can’t work usually find it hard to afford food.
- You Can Volunteer Your Time
You can consider joining a team of volunteers who work hard to improve underprivileged individuals’ quality of life.
Volunteering choices may range from face-to-face services to digital advocacy, so distance isn’t an issue.
Hunger is on the rise in Africa at an alarming rate. Natural disasters, insecurity, and adverse weather are significant predictors of long-term malnutrition in the region.
All children deserve a chance at a healthy life. Unfortunately, many kids in Africa are experiencing extreme hunger and poverty due to the above factors beyond their families’ control. The hunger indices in Africa emphasize the importance of providing food assistance to the region’s most vulnerable people.
Although eradicating the hunger in Africa can’t happen overnight, there are many things you can do to ease the burden on these less-privileged individuals. Some of them include donating cash and food and giving other resources directly to the poor to help improve the quality of life of starving African children.