The Cost of Hunger in Africa

Social and Economic Impact of Child Undernutrition in Egypt, Ethiopia, Swaziland and Uganda
The Cost of Hunger in Africa

The Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) Study is a project led by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the New Partnership of Africa‟s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency and supported by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP). COHA is a multi-country study aimed at estimating the economic and social impacts of child undernutrition in Africa.

This continent-wide initiative is being led by the Department of Social Affairs, AUC, within the framework of the Revised African Regional Nutrition Strategy (2005-2015), the objectives of the African Task Force on Food and Nutrition Development (ATFFND) and the principles of the AU/NEPAD‟s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Pillar 3.

In March 2012, the COHA study was presented to African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, who met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ministers issued Resolution 898 (Annex 1), confirming the importance of the study and recommending it continue beyond the initial stage.

The core implementers of the study are national teams organized in each participating country, drawn from relevant governmental institutions, such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Finance, and the National Statistics Institution.

The COHA study is a watershed initiative that highlights a new understanding by African governments of child undernutrition as not only a health or social issue, but also as an economic issue. The initiative also highlights the African Union‟s strong leadership in addressing development issues, as well as the collaboration among governments and agencies within the continent.

The COHA study is being carried out in 12 countries, namely Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Rwanda, Swaziland and Uganda. The data in this document are the results collected from the COHA initiative in the four first-phase countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Swaziland and Uganda.