6 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Where are we?

UNDP Picture This DRC
Photo: Victoria Estellano/UNDP Picture This
  • The proportion of Sub-Saharan Africans living on less than US$ 1.25 a day marginally decreased from 56.5 percent in 1990 to 48.5 percent in 2010. 
  • Over 1990–2012, 3 countries reduced hunger by 50 per cent or more (Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mauritania); 19 reduced hunger 20.0–49.9 per cent and 13 reduced hunger 0.0–19.9 per cent. Five countries (Burundi, Swaziland, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire and Botswana) experienced setbacks.

Africa is the world’s second fastest growing region, and poverty has declined faster since 2005 than over 1990–2005. However, its consistency and pace of growth (still less than 7.0 per cent) is not enough to achieve the target by 2015. There is still an opportunity for more rapid growth, as Africa boasts 16 of the 29 economies projected to grow the fastest over 2012–2014.

Most workers are employed in vulnerable jobs with low wages and low productivity. Still, the continent’s growth acceleration provides it with a unique opportunity to reduce poverty and create jobs through proactive policy interventions. Creating more decent jobs faster calls for a structural transformation of African economies—with bold industrial policies that promote value addition and economic diversification.

The performance of African countries on reducing hunger varies markedly. Food price hikes and the recurring droughts in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa are among key factors accounting for slow progress in nutrition levels. Africa’s food insecurity challenge is manifested by high prevalence of hunger and malnutrition, particularly among children. African countries must build on existing initiatives, such as the African Union’s Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme, and focus on the multidimensional aspects of food security to accelerate progress towards halving hunger and ensuring food security.

UNDP's work in Africa

Targets for MDG1
  1. Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
    • Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Poverty gap ratio
    • Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
  2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
    • Growth rate of GDP per person employed
    • Employment-to-population ratio
    • Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
    • Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
    • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption