Save the Children: PH economy loses P328 B a year due to malnutrition

  • Save the Children reported that the Philippines loses P328 B a year due to malnutrition
  • The organization said the loss is due to the impact of childhood stunting on workforce productivity and education
  • The report ‘Cost of Hunger: Philippines’ revealed that in 2013, childhood stunting cost the Philippines almost three percent of its GDP

Organization Save the Children disclosed on Tuesday, August 30, that a new report revealed that the Philippine economy is losing at least P328 billion a year due to the impact of childhood stunting on workforce productivity and education.

The report entitled “Cost of Hunger: Philippines” stated that in 2013, childhood stunting cost the Philippines almost three percent of its GDP.

“This study proves that undernutrition has a cost to all of us. In just a year, Philippines has lost almost three percent of its GDP in terms of education and productivity costs due to stunting,” said Save the Children Philippines Country Director Ned Olney.

It was disclosed that the overall economic loss of P328 billion is consists of P166.5 billion worth of lost income as a result of lower level of education achieved by the working population who suffered  from childhood stunting; P160 billion in lost productivity due to premature deaths among children who would have been members of our current working-age population; and P1.23 billion in additional education costs to cover grade repetitions linked to undernutrition.

“If stunting rates continue to rise, it would be difficult for families to break free from poverty. It is the poor and neglected sectors of society that carry the burden of stunting. Any investment in reducing childhood undernutrition will reduce suffering and poverty, and will ultimately stimulate economic growth for all Filipinos,” Olney noted.

He stressed that nutrition is the cornerstone of all development efforts.

“This new report tells us that for every US$1 spent on programs to avert stunting in children below two years old, the Philippines could save over 100 US$ in health, education, and lost productivity costs,” he added.

Meanwhile, the official said it should outrage us that 95 children will die every day because of malnutrition.

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