UNICEF’s nutrition report has just been released and I think it is a great contribution to what has been a big year for nutrition within the development agenda. The last time we saw a report from UNICEF on nutrition statistics was in 2009, and with this one, not only has the current status of nutrition been updated (which incorporates overweight along with the undernutrition figures), but also the latest interventions and their coverage have been mapped and success stories of how countries are tackling the challenge have been described in great detail. There are some countries that stick out – Timor Leste, Burundi, Niger and Madagascar. However, India’s numbers are dire. They have 38% of the world’s burden of children who are stunted with 61,723 kids moderate or severely chronically undernourished. What a burden to have. Nigeria, Pakistan and still China come in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. But overall, stunting prevalence is declining with a 36% decline in the last 20 years. That is nothing to sniff at. I think with country commitments to scale up nutrition, we are going to see those numbers keep going down, and going down faster. Let’s hope.
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