Twenty-eight African countries fall into the "serious levels of hunger" category, according to a Global Hunger Index (Africa Edition) report released in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Only three of Africa's 54 countries - Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco - are considered to have low levels of hunger, the report said.
According to the report by the African Union and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), based on data from studies in 2015 and 2016, the level of hunger in five African countries was categorised as "alarming."
"There are countries in Africa, such as Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria, where over 50 percent of children under age 5 are stunted or wasted," it added.
— NEPAD Agency (@NEPAD_Agency) July 2, 2017
Five countries fall under "alarming" categories, which include Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Zambia, Chad, and Central African Republic, the report said.
The report also contained some positive developments.
"There is a high rate of return to scaling-up nutrition-specific interventions; for example, the compound rate of return in DR Congo, Mali, Nigeria and Togo is 13 percent, and the cost-benefit ration of investing in scaling up nutrition is high," it said.
The root causes of hunger are complex and require multi-sectoral and multilevel collaboration. The role of national governments in achieving these goals by significantly enhancing the quality of implementation is also clear. Yet Zero Hunger can only be achieved when governments measure progress and are accountable to citizens, which requires capacities to collect and analyse data, combined with open and comprehensive review and dialogue processes — Global Hunger Index Report (Africa Edition)
NEPAD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Mayaki said that the problem of stunting was as shocking as it is critical and that it needs to be urgently addressed.
"Nutrition should be made a national priority," he said. "Sectors such as agriculture and health should work together."