Hunger Profile: Africa

Hunger in Africa



Africa is the world’s second largest continent. It has 54 countries and 2 nations that want to be, but they are countries in dispute. Most of the nations of Africa are now republics, ruled by presidents, but there have been many wars fought in and about Africa.  Other nations have tried to own parts of Africa (there used to be British, French and Spanish Colonies in Africa.) and widespread war between African nations has lead to famines and unstable economies.



When we talk about “hunger” there are 3 ways we can talk about it:


  1. Malnutrition: When a person doesn’t get the nutrients needed to grow and thrive. This can be not enough food, but most of the time it's because of empty calories, meaning there are calories, but no nutrition.  Think about if all you could eat was potato chips.  They have plenty of calories, but it doesn’t have protein, vitamins or minerals. Your body can’t survive on just potato chips very long because you need nutrition.

  2. Famine: This is widespread food scarcity. Meaning there isn’t enough food someplace to feed people. What if you had 10 friends and everyone was hungry, but only 6 sandwiches.  There’s not enough food for everyone to get full.

  3. Starvation: This happens when you don’t have enough food for a long time.  You will loose more and more weight until finally your body can’t keep going.


Africa has all 3 types of hunger currently.


If you look at the world’s top 10 hungriest countries, 6 out of 10 countries are in Africa.  They are: Central African Republic, Chad, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Niger.  In Africa there are 214 million hungry people, this is a lot of people, but believe it or not this is not the continent with the highest hunger rates.  If you look at Africa as a whole, it has the highest percentage of its population that is hungry (this means that most people in Africa need food) but it is not the largest numbers of hungry people, that title belongs to Asia with 525.6 million hungry people.   


In early 2017 the UN made the official announcement that South Sudan was in a famine and right now millions don’t have access to enough food, 100,000 people are starving and people are beginning to die of starvation. The UN also identified that Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria are on the brink of a famine.  All of this is caused by widespread war and rising food costs.



How to pray?


 Ask God to provide food for hungry kids. Also ask Him to provide rain so that people can grow food.  Pray for peace so that communities can be established without the fear of war. Pray for the people of Sudan, ask God to use people who will be caring and compassionate to bring food. Pray for Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria that they would see changes in their countries to keep the famine from happening.  These countries need big solutions, but we serve a big God who provides food for so many people and who stops famines.