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U.N. Nutrition Report Calls For Increased Action To Address Stunting In Children

“A United Nations nutrition report [.pdf] released [Monday] shows that progress has been made in recent years in addressing stunting in children, and calls for increased efforts to accelerate a response to a condition that affects some 165 million children across the world,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “The UNICEF report, ‘Improving Child Nutrition: The achievable imperative for global progress,’ notes that a key to success against stunting is focusing attention on pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life,” the news service adds (4/15). “More than a quarter of children under the age of five worldwide are permanently ‘stunted’ from malnutrition, leaving them physically and intellectually weak,” the report says, according to the Associated Press/New York Times (4/15).

“Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF since 2010, said organized provision of vitamins and clean water and a focus from birth on breastfeeding could have helped these 165 million children achieve normal brain and body development,” but “their lack of proper nutrition means instead they will suffer increased vulnerability to illness and early death,” according to a separate interview with the Associated Press (Pogatchnik, 4/15).”Based on UNICEF’s report, IRIN has put together a round-up of the nutrition situations in six East and Central African countries that are among 24 countries with the largest burden and highest prevalence of stunting,” including Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania, the news service writes (4/16).