Mrs. Hawa Ahmed Youssouf, the African Union Commission Representative in Madagascar has officially presented the Council on Hemispheric Affair (COHA) study report to the Prime Minister and Head of Government of Madagascar,
H.E. Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana. The findings highlighted the extent of social and economic losses caused by child malnutrition in a given country. During the ceremony held in Antananarivo, the Prime Minister expressed his concern about the alarming levels of chronic malnutrition in the country. In Madagascar, 47 percent of children under the age of five are affected by stunting (low growth for age).
The Prime minister has said that Madagascar has the fifth highest rate of stunting in the world, and the results of the Cost of Hunger study confirm the urgency of mobilizing more resources, investment to reduce the level of malnutrition and its impact. This is one of the priorities of the National Development Plan. I call on our multi-sectoral partners to join us in this endeavor.
Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the COHA study in Madagascar was conducted by the National Implementation Team (composed of 14 agencies and ministries) with the support of the United Nations and financial partners. Mrs. Youssouf has also said that the study aims to enhance African governments’ awareness of child malnutrition and of the fact that this is not only a health and social issue, but one of major economic concern, The African Union supports this initiative in Madagascar because we know that the government is committed to fighting malnutrition.” Madagascar is the tenth country in Africa to have conducted the COHA study, after Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda and Swaziland. The process has revealed that African economies are losing between 1.9 and 16.5% of GDP to child malnutrition.