The cost of hunger in Africa: the social and economic impact of child undernutrition in the Gambia

Over the past decade, the Gambia has registered some progress in improving the nutritional status of children, particularly the reduction of the prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight among children under five years of age. According to the recently published Gambia Micronutrient Survey (GMNS) conducted in 2018, stunting among children under five years was 15.7 %, down from 24.5 % according to the 2013 Gambia Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS). Underweight and wasting were 10.6 % and 5.8 % down from 16.2 and 11.5 % respectively. Despite this overall progress, child undernutrition remains unacceptably high in The Gambia. The specific objectives of undertaking the COHA Gambia Study included estimating the social and economic impacts of child undernutrition, generating policy evidence to justify the need to increase investment in nutrition, and recommending actions to inform human capital development that will help bolster implementation of The Gambia's NDP and other commitments. The findings of the study give policy insights that shall be key in the development and revision of key policies and strategies geared towards reducing child undernutrition in The Gambia.