Joint News Release

 

04 December 2014 

                               

 

COST OF HUNGER IN CHAD TO BE REVEALED 

 

N’DJAMENA – A groundbreaking study of the impact of hunger on Chad’s economy is starting in the New Year. Part of a series of surveys known as the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA), it will examine the effects of child undernutrition on health, education and national productivity in Chad.  

 "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,” said General Director of Planning and Economic Cooperation Mbaiguedem Mbairo at the launch in early December.

 Some 38.7 percent of children in Chad are stunted, or have impaired growth as a result of undernutrition during the early stages of their lives. 

 "If the trend of child undernutrition continues, the continent’s desired economic development agenda will not be achieved,” said Dr. Janet Byaruhanga, Health Officer at the Department of Social Affairs, speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission.

 Chad will be the ninth country in the continent to take part in COHA. It has already been undertaken in Egypt, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland and Uganda. Chad will implement the study - along with Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique and Nigeria - in 2015.

COHA is a pan-African 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 (WFP).

“The goal of eliminating stunting, and more broadly of eliminating hunger, will be achieved only through a sustained and coordinated effort,” said WFP’s Africa Office Director and Representative to the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa, Thomas Yanga. “We hope that when the economic cost of hunger in Chad becomes apparent, the findings and recommendations of the study will pave the way for financial support from all stakeholders.”

Previous COHA studies have revealed African economies to have lost the equivalent of between 1.9 and 16 percent of Gross Domestic Product to child undernutrition.

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For more information, please contact:

Peter Musoko Country Director a.i., World Food Programme Chad, email: peter.musoko@wfp.org

Dr Janet Byaruhanga, Africa Union Commission, email: byaruhangaj@africa-union.org

Ella Getahun, World Food Programme Africa Office and Representative to the AU and ECA, email: ella.getahun@wfp.org 

Mercy Wambui, Economic Commission for Africa, email: mwambui@uneca.org