Nutrition

WHO and FAO announce Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

Introduction

Malnutrition is one of the world’s most serious but least addressed health problems and a significant contributor to child mortality. Nearly one-third of children in developing countries are either underweight or stunted, and more than 30% of people living in developing countries suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.

Malnutrition undermines economic growth and perpetuates poverty, and its human costs are enormous. Yet the world has failed to tackle malnutrition over the past decades, even though well-tested approaches for doing so exist. The consequences of this failure to act are now evident in the inadequate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal’s target 1c to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015: more than one in eight of the world’s population still suffer from hunger after progress towards meeting the MDG slowed in 2007 and levelled off.

Unless policies and priorities are changed, the scale of the problem will prevent many countries from laying the foundation for sustainable development that is central to the post-2015 development agenda —especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where malnutrition is increasing, and in South-East Asia, where malnutrition remains widespread and improving only slowly.

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FAO-WHO Nutrition advocacy film for ICN2