ACCRA, The head of Ghana’s National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, has called for strengthened collaboration among all stakeholder to address the country’s nutritional gap or risk having to face a generational challenge.

The poor nutritional status of a majority of Ghanaians, particularly those living in Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions (Provinces) and other rural communities, posed a great threat to the attainment of national development aspirations, he said.

He said a recent Cost of Hunger Study on Ghana had revealed that as many as 37 per cent of citizens transited from childhood malnutrition into adulthood, underlying the low educational attainment of the country, which was a far cry from the human resources needed to attain Ghana’s development aspirations.

He added that the study showed that Ghana lost a total of 2.6 billion cedis (about 589 million US dollars) as a result of malnutrition in 2012 alone, equivalent to 6.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Addressing a Social Protection Nutrition dialogue here Tuesday, he said the country was endowed with so much that it was shameful for it to fail on the most basic right of human existence, which was the right to food.

He thanked the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), for engaging the key State and non-State actors to build consensus on crucial social protection interventions in the quest to end malnutrition.

He explained that with the knowledge that a mono-sector approach to nutrition could only deal with just a third of the needed solutions to malnutrition, the NDPC, had, since 2011, established a Cross-Sectoral Planning Group, to strengthen dialogue around nutrition policy formulation, planning and programming at all levels.

The Commission, he said, had also been pursuing sector-specific dialogues based on commissioned reports, which had proposed nutrition-sensitive pathways in education, Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) and Social Protection.