Malnutrition costs global economy $3.5 trillion annually – World Bank
The World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim has said that malnutrition costs the global economy $3.5 trillion per year.
He said this during a World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C.
Kim in a press release emailed to our reporter in Kaduna, Nigeria stated that there were no excuses for failing to invest in nutrition.
According to the release, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun alongside her Guatemalan counterpart, Julio Estrada joined the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim and singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka in Washignton DC over the weekend to shine a spotlight on the importance of nutrition in unlocking human capital and economic prosperity.
Kim pointed out that malnutrition still affects one in three people globally, including the 156 million children worldwide who are stunted.
“In Nigeria, 37% of under five children are stunted, wasting rate stands at 18% while 29% are underweight. About 23% of new-borns in Nigeria do not receive breast milk within the first hour of birth whilst the exclusive breastfeeding rate stands at 17%.
“The evidence is abundantly clear that the ties between nutrition and economic prosperity run deep, and the world (Nigeria inclusive) cannot afford to wait to increase investments in this area.
“Investing in nutrition yields permanent and inalienable benefits, with at least a $10 return on investment for every dollar spent,”Kim said while he highlighted the commitment made by Rwandan President Paul Kagame to reduce stunting in Rwanda from 38% to 0% over the next 3 to 4 years.
Countries including Peru and Senegal were also praised for the progress they have made in tackling malnutrition while other governments were called on to play their part and set the same level of commitment.