Hunger and malnutrition rates remain high in Africa, especially among children. THE Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Progress Report for 2013 has revealed that climate-related shocks manifested by extreme weather conditions have destroyed livelihoods and exacerbated Africa’s food insecurity.
The progress report, prepared by the African Union Commission (AUC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) stated that there was a high incidence of underweight children, widespread hunger and poor dietary consumption patterns in Africa.
“In 2012, most of Africa was identified as having serious to alarming levels of hunger on the Global Hunger Index. Food insecurity has played a large role in slowing progress on the health MDGs, especially for children and mothers. Climate change, political instability and population growth are among the contributing factors. The continent’s population is increasing so rapidly that countries might not be able to produce all the food they need,” report said.
With less than 1,000 days until the 2015 target for the MDGs, the report takes stock of Africa’s overall performance on the MDGs and identifies the best performing countries by indicator, based on progress relative to each country’s initial conditions.
Globally, in 2012, 15 of the 20 countries which made the greatest progress on the MDGs were from Africa. Countries such as Benin, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Malawi and Rwanda are making impressive progress on a number of goals and targets.
“Africa must commit to inclusive, transformative development that reduces income poverty, creates decent jobs, enhances access to social services, reduces inequality and promotes resilience to climate-related hazards,” states the report in its foreword.
The report concluded that it is imperative that countries continue to learn from one another since countries that have sustained, equitable growth, with political stability and human development-oriented policies, are doing well in most of the goals.