Top 10 African countries with the highest number of hungry people

Top 10 African countries with the highest number of hungry people
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Top 10 African countries with the highest hunger population

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP), severe food insecurity is expected to worsen in 18 hunger hotspots. A few of these hotspots are in Africa, highlighting numerous factors that contribute to food insecurity in some parts of the continent. Of these factors, conflict is the most prevalent.

  • Business Insider Africa presents the top 10 African countries with the highest number of hungry people.
  • This list is courtesy of the Hunger Hotspots report by the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
  • Countries mentioned on the list are at risk of facing even more food insecurity should the issues not be addressed.

A few African nations have been designated as hunger hotspots by international organizations and media sources in recent years. While identifying regions that are vulnerable to hunger is crucial for coordinating assistance and support, designating a region as a “hunger hotspot” has serious and frequently negative consequences for the affected nations.

These countries can are considered hunger hotspots for key reasons, the most prominent of which is conflict. Conflicts typically exasperate hunger as the constant fighting deters the production of food. Additionally, food sent as relief aid is usually controlled by those at the forefront of the fighting, leaving the more vulnerable population with very few options.

The recently released Hunger Hotspots report by the United Nations highlights that organized violence and armed conflict are the primary causes of deteriorating severe food insecurity in the majority of hunger hotspots (17 out of 21 countries/territories).

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Other significant reasons can cause acute food shortages including a rapidly rising food inflation level. This causes severe strains on households and leaves the poor with very short rations.

Climate change has also become huge, as extreme temperatures cause stagnation of farming. Some countries can experience intense heat which is very unconducive for crop production, while some countries experience massive bouts of rainfall, causing erosion and all sorts of drawbacks for farming.

With that said, here are the 10 African countries considered hunger hotspots in 2024.

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Top 10 African countries with the highest number of hungry people

RankCountryNumber of people in acute food insecurityGlobal rank
1.Nigeria31.8 million1st
2.Democratic Republic of Congo23.4 million2nd
3.Ethiopia15.8 million5th
4.South Sudan7.1 million8th
5.Malawi4.4 million10th
6.Chad3.8 million11th
7.Somalia3.4 million12th
8.Mozambique3.3 million13th
9.Zimbabwe3.0 million14th
10.Burkina Faso2.7 million15th


Food security experts, disputes, economic, and natural hazards analysts from FAO and WFP, both in Rome and on the ground, collaborate to identify hunger hotspots. The strategy starts through prioritizing based on quantitative and qualitative variables elaborated on in the report.


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