New Food and Nutrition Policy and hunger report launched at a high level event in Lesotho
On 20 October 2016, a high level event was held in Lesotho to launch the Cost of Hunger report and the new Food and Nutrition Policy. It also represented a moment to promote the membership of Lesotho in the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and the declaration of October as Lesotho’s National Nutrition Month under the theme “First 1,000 Days of Life“.
The launch of these three milestones is the country’s reaffirmation of its commitment to join the world in fighting malnutrition. Investing in nutrition is a moral and economic imperative (…) and as the African Union Nutrition Champion, I consider it my privilege and obligation to lead the fight against malnutrition,”
King Letsie III, King of Lesotho
The Cost of Hunger report reveals that Lesotho loses about seven percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to increased healthcare costs, additional burdens on the education system and lower productivity of the workforce. The results come at a moment where approximately 709,000 people – one in four of the population – are in need of food assistance, mainly due to the effects of two years of drought, including of El Niño.
For the full report, please click here: Lesotho COHA Report
The study will provide us with compelling evidence on the consequences of child undernutrition, as well as the justification to increase investment in nutrition and the potential economic returns if we are to take aggressive measures towards eliminating stunting,”
Mokoto Hloaele, Minister of Development Planning in Lesotho
The event was blessed by the presence of eminent speakers such as King Letsie III, Mr. Mothetjoa Metsing, the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Kimetso Mathaba, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Dr Molotsi Monyamane, Health Minister. The event also gathered senior government officials, public servants, civil society and United Nations agencies involved in the same fight against malnutrition.
Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, AU Commissioner for the Department of Social Affairs, urged the government of Lesotho to use the Cost of Hunger in Africa-Lesotho study results, to inform critical Lesotho’s development decisions. He added that progress towards Africa’s Vision 2063, can only be achieved if citizens of the continent are healthy and well-nourished.
To reduce stunting in Lesotho calls for strong political commitment, coordination of efforts and continued allocation of adequate resources for the implementation of the national nutrition and other related policies sensitive to nutrition.”
Mokoto Hloaele, Minister of Development Planning
The first report of the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) Study was launched on 28 March 2014 in Abuja, Nigeria, where experts gathered to review results of the report covering Egypt, Ethiopia, Swaziland and Uganda. The studies are led by the African Union Commission in partnership with AU member states, and supported by the African Union Commission, Economic Commission for Africa, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
In addition to the regional study of four countries, Lesotho’s study joins country specific studies from Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda. Plans are in place for the study to be completed in Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Learn more about the Cost of Hunger in Africa: The Cost of Hunger in Africa
Learn more about the launch event: