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New report reveals that undernutrition costs the Democratic Republic of the Congo more than $1 billion a year

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

On 7 July 2017, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) released a new report revealing the social and economic costs of undernutrition in the nation. The study emphasises the significant losses incurred each year through increased healthcare costs, additional burdens to the education system and reduced workforce productivity. This is estimated at 1.637 billion Congolese francs, or more than $1 billion a year.

The Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study was undertaken by the government of DRC in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the African Union Commission (AUC), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

I welcome this important joint initiative which will contribute significantly to the government’s efforts to minimize the loss of human and economic potential to malnutrition… Malnutrition is a silent emergency, accounting for nearly half of all infant deaths. For the country to develop, we need to address this situation urgently.”

Bruno Tshibala Nzenzhe, DRC Prime Minister and Head of Government.

Download the report: Français

According to the report, DRC could save up to CDF355 billion (around US$383. million) by 2025 if the prevalence of underweight children is reduced from 11 to 5 percent and if stunting (low growth for age) is reduced from 43 to 10 percent.

Download the report: Français

I’m convinced that with the understanding we now have of the terrible economic and social impact of malnutrition on children, we and our partners can work with the government to make a real difference to this alarming situation.”

 Claude Jibidar, WFP Country Director in DRC.

Read the WFP Press Release: English

About the COHA

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).

Since then, in addition to DRC, studies have been launched in Burkina Faso, Chad, GhanaLesothoMadagascar, Malawi and Rwanda. Plans are in place for the study to be launched in Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Mali,  Mauritania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Learn more: The Cost of Hunger in Africa

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