Thursday, November 12, 2009

UNICEF Issues New Report on Child Undernutrition

Today's Denver Post gave a brief mention of a new report by UNICEF showing that almost 200 million children in developing countries have stunted growth because of poor nutrition. This new report, accessible from UNICEF's web site, is Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Nutrition: A Survival and Development Policy. The 124-page report, which contains a large number of charts and statistics, states among its key messages:
  • A child’s future nutrition status is affected before conception . . . . A chronically undernourished woman will give birth to a baby who is likely to be undernourished as a child, causing the cycle of undernutrition to be repeated over generations.
  • Twenty-four countries bear 80 per cent of the developing world burden of undernutrition as measured by stunting.
  • More than 90 per cent of the developing world’s stunted children live in Africa and Asia.
  • Marked reductions in child undernutrition can be achieved through improvements in women’s nutrition before and during pregnancy, early and exclusive breastfeeding, and good-quality complementary feeding for infants and young children, with appropriate micronutrient interventions.
  • Improving child and maternal nutrition is not only entirely feasible but also affordable and cost-effective. Nutrition interventions are among the best investments in development that countries can undertake.
Additional reports by UNICEF can be found on its Publications page. For information about how UNICEF is tackling undernutrition and other problems plaguing children around the world, select a topic under the What We Do tab.

For links to resources from other international organizations and NGOs tackling nutrition issues, take a look at our guides to development, food supply, and health.

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