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Poor child nutrition in Malawi costs US$600 million per year

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

On 13th May 2015, the launch of the Cost of Hunger in Malawi highlighted the overwhelming $600 million loss every year, as a result of child undernutrition. The study, which was commissioned by the African Union and supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the World Food programme, confirms the magnitude of consequences that child malnutrition has on health, education as well as on the national economy. The study has highlighted that the country has incurred huge economic losses associated with undernutrition, the highest being the cost in loss of potential productivity.

In Malawi, 1.4 million children are stunted may not be able to reach their full potential as adults. Of the six African countries that have been surveyed as part of the Cost of Hunger study, Malawi has the second highest cost, equivalent to 10.3% of the country’s GDP. Only Ethiopia has a higher cost of undernutrition, at 16.5% of GDP.  In Malawi where approximately two thirds of people are engaged in manual activities, productivity is significantly reduced when adults suffer from stunting as children.

The main recommendation is for the country to set ambitious targets for stunting reduction. According to the World Health Assembly targets, member states committed to the target of a 40% reduction in the number of children under-5 who are stunted.

Learn more about The Cost of Hunger in Malawi at the World Food Programme

Download The Cost of Hunger in Malawi

Listen to the report launch at United Nations Radio

Learn more about The Cost of Hunger Study

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