Chad’s Cost Of Hunger Study Kicks Off
CHAD – Government officials and experts from the continent came together in N’djamena today to launch the Cost of Hunger in Africa study for Chad, a project that quantifies the social and economic impact caused by child undernutrition to the Chadian economy. The Study assesses in particular, the effects that child undernutrition has on the health system, educational outcomes, and on the productivity of the working age population.
Speaking at the kickoff ceremony, the General Director of Planning and Economic Cooperation, Mister Mbaiguedem Mbairo decried the alarming level of malnutrition in the country, and called on the National Implementation Team to speed up the implementation of the study. Chad with a population of 12.8 million has high stunting rate at 38.7 %
“The study will provide us with a compelling evidence on the consequences of child undernutrition as well as the justification to increase investment in nutrition as well as the potential economic returns if we are to take aggressive measure towards eliminating stunting”, the General Director said.
The Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study is a continental initiative led by the African Union Commission and the New Partnership for Africa Development with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations World Food Programme.
The study has been highlighted as a key continental effort to position nutrition in the post MDG Agenda and was endorsed by African leaders at the recent AU Head of States and Governments summit held in Malabo in June 2014, who had also urged member states to take part in the study.
Dr. Janet Byaruhanga, Health Officer at the Department of Social Affairs, speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission stressed that evidence has shown that suboptimal investments in nutrition particularly in children under five continues to hamper Africa’s progress not only in reaping the economic potential of a healthy human capital but has also affected other sectors of already fragile economies of our countries.
“If the trend of child undernutrition continues, the continent’s desired economic development agenda which is expected to be sustainable and inclusive as we transit into the 2015 Development Agenda and promote our own AU 2063 Agenda will not be achieved,” she stated.
United Nations World Food Programme Africa Office Director and Representative to the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Thomas Yanga, explained that the results of the study will raise awareness to this vital issue of stunting and undernutrition in children.
“The goal of eliminating stunting and more broadly of hunger, will be achieved only through sustained and coordinated efforts including financial support of all stakeholders using the recommendations that will be generated from the findings of this study”, Mr. Yanga stressed.
Chad will be the ninth country in the continent to take part in the Cost of Hunger in Africa study. Countries that have implemented the study include, Egypt, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland and Uganda. Chad belongs to the third phase group of countries consisting of Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique and Nigeria, all set to undertake this ground-breaking initiative in 2015.
The results from the Cost of Hunger in Africa study implemented in the eight countries, revealed their economies have suffered the equivalent of 1.9 – 16% of their GDP due to the impact of child undernutrition.
The launch of the Cost of Hunger in Chad study was attended by Mister Mbaiguedem Mbairo : General Director of Planning and Economy, Thomas Deherman : Head of ECHO Chad, Bruno Maes : Unicef Country Director and representatives from the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa and the World Food Programme.
The approach of the study envisages national ownership and building capacity amongst government officials. As the study is divided into different phases, the sharing of knowledge is taken from one phase to the next.
At country level the implementation of the study will be led by a National Implementation Team composed of experts from the relevant line Ministries of Chad that include the Ministry of Planning and Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education, National Statistical Office, National Centre for Nutrition and Food Technology (CNNTA), amongst others. In addition, the approach of the study envisages national ownership and building capacity amongst government officials. As the study is divided into different phases, the sharing of knowledge is taken from one phase to the next. This is expected to stimulate increased and concerted efforts in addressing nutrition issues long after the study has been completed.
2 Enquête par grappes à indicateurs multiples, TCHAD 2010, RAPPORT FINAL | Mai 2011
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For details, please contact:
Peter Musoko Country Director a.i. Chad, World Food Programme Chad, email: email@example.com
Dr Janet Byaruhanga, Africa Union Commission, email: BYARUHANGAJ@africa-union.org
Ella Getahun, World Food Programme Africa Office and Representation to the AU and ECA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercy Wambui, Economic Commission for Africa, Mwambui@uneca.org