MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Chad is one of the world's poorest countries and ranks 170th out of 177 in the UNDP Human Development Index. Located in the Sahelian zone between tropical Africa and the Sahara, Chad is particularly prone to food deficits, especially the 80 percent of its population dependent on subsistence agriculture.
“In general, the [study] results in Chad show that approximately 575.8 million of CFA francs [$967.9 million] were lost in the course of the year of 2012 due to child malnutrition. This corresponds to 9.5 percent [of the country’s] GDP as of 2012,” the commission's Long-Term Development (COHA) study said.
“The study provides us with compelling evidence of 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,” WFP Chad County Director Mary-Ellen McGroarty was quoted as saying by the food organization at the launching of the study in Chad's capital N'Djamena.
The study argued for increasing attention to nutrition in the early stages of child development, stressing that the crisis will escalate unless measures are adopted to eliminate stunting and hunger.