Ten African countries have faced the highest levels of poverty on the continent, a United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) official has said.
Burundi, Somalia, Madagascar, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Zambia are the countries facing the highest burden of poverty in Africa, UNECA Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist Hanan Morsy told the 55th session of the UNECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on Tuesday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Citing research conducted by the UNECA, Morsy said in each of the 10 countries between 60 percent and 82 percent of the population is poor.
Based on the research, Morsy said, the UNECA estimates that households in Africa spend up to 40 percent of their income on food, and the impact of global crises has hit the poorest households in Africa severely.
“A staggering 310 million Africans experienced some form of food insecurity and 6 million Africans faced extreme hunger in 2022,” she noted.
Morsy told the two-day conference that there were significant levels of poverty and inequality in Africa even before recent global crises but now poverty has worsened, and inequality has widened.
“Today, 546 million people are still living in poverty, which is an increase of 74 percent since 1990,” she said.
“Global shocks have ripple effects on the poor in Africa through inflation, which, in 2022, stood at 12.3 percent, which was much higher than the world average of 6.7 percent,” Morsy noted.