Drought in 13 West African countries has left about 45 million people food insecurity.
According to reports, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said that the number of malnourished people has increased by 10% compared to last year.
They said that normal weather has had its effects, economic pressures and poverty have increased, while COVID-19 has had the worst effects on citizens.
Restrictions imposed by the coronavirus have dangerously impacted business activities, employment and capital gains.
the SADC said that this has had a major impact, especially in urban areas where people rely on the local market and related sectors.
There are fears that there will be a further increase in food insecurity, they said.
The African Union said that by 2020, about 8.4 million children across the region will also be malnourished, with 2.3 million of them at serious risk of life and in need of full treatment.
The statement said that the schools were closed in March, which also affected the children who used to spend their time on school meals.
Of the SADC members, South Africa is the most affected by the coronavirus.
At least 450,000 people have been affected in South Africa so far, with 7,000 deaths.
It may be recalled that the United Nations had said in 2018 that the number of people suffering from malnutrition due to climate change is increasing again which is affecting the crop production in developing countries.
The UN report said that “malnutrition has been on the rise for the past three years, returning to the level it was a decade ago.”
The report also said that “the decline in food insecurity is a clear warning that an immediate solution is needed to meet the global goal of eradicating malnutrition by 2030.”
The United Nations has said malnutrition is the worst in South America and Africa.
The report states that there has been little improvement in measures taken to curb child malnutrition, with 151 million children under the age of 5 suffering from malnutrition in 2017. In 2012, the number was 165 million.
Globally, 39% of children in Africa and 55% in Asia are stunted.