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    Children pump water to drink from a well in the courtyard of a walk-in feeding center in Dibinindji, a desert village in the Sahel belt of Chad, Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    Chad's Economy Losing 9.5% of GDP Every Year Due to Child Malnutrition

    © AP Photo / Ben Curtis
    Africa
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    Chad is losing almost one-tenth of its GDP yearly due to child malnutrition rampant in the Sahelian country, an African Union Commission study revealed on Wednesday.

    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.

    Titled "The Cost of Hunger in Africa: the Social and Economic Impact of Child Undernutrition," the paper revealed that 56.4 percent of Chadian adults had suffered from stunting, or stunted growth, as children due to malnutrition. Stunting has led to reduced physical capacity, causing direct productivity losses as well as additional health costs.

    “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.

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    malnutrition, GDP, Chad
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