Eradicating Malnutrition by 2030
By admin August 8, 2016

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Earlier this week experts and development workers gathered in Rio to tackle the mammoth issue of malnutrition. Last week’s blog posts shed light on how much food we waste, food resilience, and even cholera; all small pieces of the puzzle that prevents us from solving the malnutrition crisis. At the 2013 Nutrition for Growth (N4G) conference, world leaders had vowed to end world hunger by 2030. Unfortunately, Save the Children has found that this goal is unlikely to be met. Activists are hoping that this recent summit will re-center focus on this issue and lead to renewed efforts and increased funding.

“Malnutrition is a daily emergency,” said Roberto Cabrera, country director for Save the Children in Guatemala, who attended the Rio summit. “Good nutrition is a matter of life or death, as 45% of deaths of children under five are linked to malnutrition. Yet Save the Children’s projections show that on current trends, there will still be 129 million malnourished children by 2030, with children in more than 50 countries projected to be malnourished far into the next century.” According to The Guardian, children under-five are particularly at risk as the environment that children are in under this age bracket has a deep and lasting impact on lifelong health outcomes. Stunting is one example, and it can hinder productivity for their entire life.

It is unclear why so little progress has been made, but there are many contributors to the massive increase in malnutrition in the past decade. Gender inequality, poverty, and water sanitation are just a few of the challenges that have hindered the decline in malnutrition. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 percent of malnutrition is associated with infections caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. In addition, global turmoil such as the refugee crisis in the Middle East and the civil unrest in South Sudan and other Sub-Saharan nations have contributed to increasing rates of malnutrition at the international level. Furthermore, because hunger and malnutrition are so all encompassing, it is difficult to pinpoint the cause and mobilize substantial change. Lastly, funding allocated to malnutrition is used for so many varied programs that the money dwindles as it gets divided amongst water sanitation, personal hygiene and food provisions for the poor. This leads to lack of sustainable progress and a scattered focus.

Activists and organizations are now pushing for concrete planning before the next summit in 2017. “If we are going to end malnutrition by 2030, or even in the next century, then the leaders – governments, donors and businesses – must be ready to articulate commitments, resources and plans for tackling malnutrition ahead of an ambitious pledging summit in 2017,” said Cabrera once again pushing for action.. Child advocacy groups will continue to push for policy and funding that will lead to fewer hungry children, especially under the age of five.  The Save the Children campaign has created an extensive and up-to-date document with best practices and strategies to tackle this issue at the local and national level – ensuring the next generation is left less hungry than the one before.

 For More Information: 

Save the Children Malnutrition Report

2013 London Hunger Summit

Nutrition for Growth: Tracking Commitments

Malnutrition will not end by 2030, warn campaigners

Thanks for sharing !

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