Scaling up nutrition in the Arab Republic of Egypt: investing in a healthy future
Malnutrition is a huge burden on the Arab Republic of Egypt's economy. Undernutrition--manifested by poor linear growth (stunting), wasting, and micronutrient deficiencies in children, and by anemia among women of reproductive age--collectively saps an estimated two percent of Egypt’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) through forgone productivity and health care costs, representing an economic hemorrhaging of billions of U.S. dollars per year. Adding to this challenge is the co-occurence of overweight and obesity among children, leading to a malnutrition double burden. Scaling Up Nutrition in the Arab Republic of Egypt aims to inform the development of a nutrition policy and strategy and to guide nutrition investments over the coming years. It reviews Egypt’s nutrition situation, the interventions currently in place, and opportunities to scale up the response. In addition, it analyzes the fiscal implications of scaling up key interventions, including estimates of the costs and benefits and an assessment of the required fiscal space. It argues that any interventions to address the burden of malnutrition need to also take into account the coexistence of overweight and obesity.