MDGs Scorecard -Performance of Africa in Efforts to Eradicate Poverty

Who's Really Fighting Hunger? a report by ActionAid that was recently released in New York reveals that 20 out of 28 poor nations are off track to halving hunger by 2015 and 12 of these are going backwards, despite UN claims that the world is on track to meeting the Millennium Development Goal. The report further revealed that hunger could be costing poor nations $450 billion a year - more than ten times the amount needed to halve hunger by 2015

Brazil tops the list as the best performing developing country. The three best performing countries in Africa are Malawi, Ghana and Mozambique. Malawi has reduced the number of people living on food hand outs from 1.5 million to 150,000 in just five years. The Democratic Republic of Congo is at the bottom of the list with 76 percent of its population chronically hungry. It has the worst hunger statistics in the world.

In Southern Africa, Lesotho and South Africa were ranked in position 24 and 22 respectively in the achievement of MDG 1 which seeks to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty by reducing by half the proportion of people whose income is less than a dollar a day. In addition, countries are supposed to reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, and achieve decent and productive work for all.

. According to the report, Lesotho, DRC and Burundi are going backwards on the targets with an increase in the number of hungry population and underweight children since 1990. In South Africa, hunger levels are increasing. The report quotes the national surveys that show that up to 18 percent of South African children live in households where hunger is reported. The country has an overall score of 29% in the achievement of the goal.

According the report, The South African government in the last two years has begun to increase spending in rural economies and has shifted the agricultural policy’s focus to the needs of poor smallholders. In addition, funding has been committed to some of the areas with the highest concentration of poverty - mostly in the former apartheid homelands’, where 60 percent of today’s rural population lives.

In East Africa, Kenya scored the lowest in position 16 out 28 developing countries assessed. Uganda and Tanzania were ranked position 8 and 15 respectively. Kenya scored 37%. In recent years, Kenya has suffered major food crisis from drought to floods to post election violence where close to a million people were displaced from highly productive agricultural areas of Rift Valley region. In 2009, close to 10 million people were in need of food aid.

The report recommends that the Kenyan government urgently implements effective hunger policies like empowering small scale-farmers. Other recommendations include direct funding to sustainable agriculture, increase in social protection programme, a freeze to land-buying by foreign countries and multinationals and the preparing and approval of the national food and nutritional policy.

The report also hails the Kenyan National Land Policy and the new constitution that guarantees right to food, strengthens women's rights, guarantees women stronger land ownership rights and protects community land interests.

The senior UN MDG Campaigner present during the launch of the report in Nairobi however expressed optimism that Kenya and other determined African countries could still achieve the goals on time.


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About Me

10 years experience enhancing donor-funded partner organizations’ capacities in strategic planning, financial, administrative, organizational and programming management. Skilled in donor partner organizational assessments and partner capacity building. A 10 years experience in managing development donor-funded projects in the thematic areas of poverty-reduction, governance and democracy, conflict transformation and integration of Gender, Justice and Peace issues into mainstream programs (HIV/AIDS, Agriculture, Water and Sanitation, Emergency)

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