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Overcoming child malnutrition in developing countries: past achievements and future choices

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  • Smith, Lisa C.
  • Haddad, Lawrence James

Abstract

"About 167 million children under five years of age —almost one-third of the developing world's children —are malnourished. If they survive childhood, many of these children will suffer from poorer cognitive development and lower productivity. As adults, their ability to assure good nutrition for their children could be compromised, perpetuating a vicious cycle. What will it take to eradicate child malnutrition in developing countries? As Lisa Smith and Lawrence Haddad point out in this 2020 Vision discussion paper, Overcoming Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries: Past Achievements and Future Choices, we must first understand the causes of malnutrition and delineate which are the most important before we can identify and act upon those areas of intervention that will be most successful in reducing malnutrition. Toward that end, their path-breaking research identifies and assesses the contribution of each key determinant to reductions in child malnutrition over the past quarter century. The most startling and important finding is that improvements in women's education have contributed by far the most, accounting for 43 percent of the reduction in child malnutrition between 1970 and 1995, while improvements in per capita food availability con tributed about 26 percent. In a signal service to policymakers, Smith and Haddad also evaluate the potential of these factors to further reduce malnutrition durng the next two decades to 2020 and lay out the key policy priorities for each major developing region. By shedding light on which areas of intervention will be most successful in overcoming child malnutrition in developing countries, this research will contribute to realizing the 2020 Vision of a world where hunger and malnutrition are absent." (Forward by Per Pinstrup-Andersen)

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Lisa C. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 2000. "Overcoming child malnutrition in developing countries: past achievements and future choices," 2020 vision discussion papers 30, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:2020dp:30
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    1. Smith, Lisa C. & El Obeid, Amani E. & Jensen, Helen H., 2000. "The geography and causes of food insecurity in developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 199-215, March.
    2. Sudhir Anand & Martin Ravallion, 1993. "Human Development in Poor Countries: On the Role of Private Incomes and Public Services," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 133-150, Winter.
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    2. Alvaro Calzadilla & Tingju Zhu & Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol & Claudia Ringler, "undated". "Economy-wide Impacts of Climate on Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers FNU-170, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University.
    3. Francesco Schettino & Alberto Gabriele, 2008. "Child malnutrition and mortality in China and Vietnam in a comparative perspective," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 29-59, March.
    4. Isaac Bonuedi & Kofi Kamasa & Eric Evans Osei Opoku, 2020. "Enabling trade across borders and food security in Africa," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 12(5), pages 1121-1140, October.
    5. Leisinger, Klaus M., 2000. "The 'Political Economy' of Agricultural Biotechnology for the Developing World," 2000 Conference, August 13-18, 2000, Berlin, Germany 197190, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. R. Radhakrishna & K. Hanumantha Rao & C. Ravi & B. Sambi Reddy, 2006. "Estimation and determinants of chronic poverty in India: An Alternative approach," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2006-007, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    7. Calzadilla, Alvaro & Zhu, Tingju & Rehdanz, Katrin & Tol, Richard S.J. & Ringler, Claudia, 2013. "Economywide impacts of climate change on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 150-165.
    8. Howard White & Nina Blöndal, 2007. "Projecting Progress toward the Millennium Development Goals," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2007-47, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Dorward, Andrew & Kydd, Jonathan & Morrison, Jamie & Urey, Ian, 2004. "A Policy Agenda for Pro-Poor Agricultural Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-89, January.
    10. Pierre‐Richard Agénor & Nihal Bayraktar & Emmanuel Pinto Moreira & Karim El Aynaoui, 2006. "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Sub‐Saharan Africa: A Macroeconomic Monitoring Framework," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(11), pages 1519-1547, November.
    11. Jef L. Leroy & Marie Ruel & Ellen Verhofstadt, 2009. "The impact of conditional cash transfer programmes on child nutrition: a review of evidence using a programme theory framework," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 103-129, June.
    12. Rasmus Heltberg, 2009. "Malnutrition, poverty, and economic growth," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages 77-88, April.
    13. Suttie, D. & Benfica, R., 2016. "IFAD RESEARCH SERIES 3 - Fostering inclusive outcomes in sub-Saharan African agriculture: improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities," IFAD Research Series 280040, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
    14. Beatrice Lorge Rogers & James Wirth & Kathy Macías & Parke Wilde, 2007. "Mapping Hunder in Panama: A Report on Mapping Malnutrition Prevalence," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 35, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
    15. Ecker, Olivier & Mabiso, Athur & Kennedy, Adam & Diao, Xinshen 22905, 2011. "Making agriculture pro-nutrition: Opportunities in Tanzania," IFPRI discussion papers 1124, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. Sinha, Aakanksha & McRoy, Ruth G. & Berkman, Barbara & Sutherland, Melissa, 2017. "Drivers of change: Examining the effects of gender equality on child nutrition," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 203-212.
    17. Beatrice Lorge Rogers & James Wirth & Kathy Macías & Parke Wilde, 2007. "Mapping Hunder: A Report on Mapping Malnutrition Prevalence in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Panama," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 34, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
    18. Gabriele, Alberto & Schettino, Francesco, 2007. "Child Malnutrition and Mortality in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Cross-Country Analysis," MPRA Paper 3132, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2007.
    19. Robinson, Sherman & Mason d'Croz, Daniel & Islam, Shahnila & Sulser, Timothy B. & Robertson, Richard D. & Zhu, Tingju & Gueneau, Arthur & Pitois, Gauthier & Rosegrant, Mark W., 2015. "The International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT): Model description for version 3:," IFPRI discussion papers 1483, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    20. Beatrice Lorge Rogers & James Wirth & Kathy Macías & Parke Wilde, 2007. "Mapping Hunger in Ecuador: A Report on Mapping Malnutrition Prevalence," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 9602, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

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