Malawi Economic and Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa, said the lingering hunger will trigger more social and economic challenges for the country.
“In the current scenario, the government needs to focus on getting all priorities right by effectively and efficiently channelling adequate resources towards priority nutrition and food security interventions as a part of the sustainable socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
Describing the food crisis in the country as extremely ‘‘unsettling to any path for economic recovery or economic growth,” Kubalasa remarked: ‘‘This vindicates the adage, a stitch in time saves nine’ or ‘prevention is better than cure.’
”If we are to simply pick the issue of persistent food insecurity from the lenses of inadequate nutrition in the majority of households, you will agree with me that this is already quite critical with its own far-reaching implications and multiplier effects.
‘‘Who can work on an empty stomach be it in the village or at Capital Hill, let alone who can concentrate in any meaningful venture when their relations, parents or families are starving? Productivity gets the next direct hit subjecting all else into further desperation and mediocrity.’’
According to The Cost of Hunger in Africa: The Social and Economic Impact of Child Under-nutrition in Malawi report published in May last year, Malawi loses $600 million (K150 billion) or 10.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) each year as a result of child malnutrition through increased healthcare costs, additional burdens to the education system and lower productivity by its workforce.