26 July 2013, World Food Programme -- "The high cost of child malnutrition in Swaziland was showcased at the launch of the latest country-level study in the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) series on 18 July. The Cost of Hunger in Swaziland, produced by the Government of Swaziland with support from WFP, is the first COHA study in southern Africa and among the first to quantify the social and economic impacts of child undernutrition.
The more than 60 people attending the launch in the capital Mbabane, including high-level representatives from the New Partnership for African Development and the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa, learned that Swaziland loses 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), or some US $92 million annually, from the long-term impact of chronic childhood hunger. Some 270,000 adults, or more than 40 percent of the labor force, suffer from physical stunting as a result of chronic malnutrition in early childhood.
The study documents how high stunting rates result in lower work productivity, higher national health costs, missed work hours due to illness, and lower rates of educational attainment. In manual activities, the associated loss is estimated at SZL 126 million (US$ 14.8 million) of potential productivity not realized. In non-manual activities, where the losses are associated with lower schooling achievement, the economic losses are estimated at SZL 251 million (US$29.5 million) in a single year.
Moreover, an estimated 37 million working hours were lost in 2009 as a result of people who were absent from the workforce as a result of nutrition-related deaths. This represents SZL 340 million (US$40 million), which is equivalent to 1.4 percent of the country's GDP. ..."