Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development : A Strategy for Large Scale Action
Persistent malnutrition is contributing not only to widespread failure to meet the first Millennium Development Goals-to halve poverty and hunger-but to meet other goals in maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, education, and gender equity. The choice is now between continuing to fail, or to finally make nutrition central to development. Underweight prevalence among children is the key indicator for measuring progress on non-income poverty and malnutrition remains the world's most serious health problem and the single biggest contributor to child mortality. Nearly a third of children in the developing world are either underweight or stunted, and more than 30 percent of the developing world's population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies. There are also new dimensions to malnutrition. The epidemic of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases is spreading to the developing world and malnutrition is also linked to the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic. This report makes the case for development partners and developing countries to focus on nutrition, and to fund nutrition investments much more heavily than has been the case in the past. This case is based on evidence that such programs are excellent economic investments and essential for faster progress in reducing poverty; and on program experience showing that they can improve nutrition much faster than relying on economic growth alone. The report sets out a global strategy for stepped-up action in nutrition, for discussion in the international development community.
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