Conflict threatens global nutrition progress, new report warns

Major progress in tackling child undernutrition in some of the world's toughest countries is under threat as military and security funding takes precedence, a new report from aid agency World Vision warns.

The number of children under five who die every year has decreased by half since 1990. Yet, World Vision's Fragile but not Helpless report (PDF) finds that this progress is under threat. Countries marred by or fragility have some of the highest rates of acute and chronic undernutrition in the world.

In Africa alone it is on average 50 percent higher in fragile countries than in more stable ones.

"Striving for peace is vital—but that shouldn't mean pooling all our resources into security and sidelining basic needs like . Undernutrition kills many more children than conflict, and we need to do a better job of getting the balance right between the security needs of fragile states and the nutrition needs of fragile infants in a tight fiscal environment. When the proposed increase in defense spending by both Congress and the Administration is about double the size of the total amount the U.S.

Government spends on international humanitarian assistance, the balance can be improved within existing resources, it just requires political will and focus," said Robert Zachritz, senior director of Government Relations and Advocacy at World Vision.

Though in many cases child undernutrition is well above acceptable thresholds, nearly two-thirds of fragile and conflict-affected states have not joined up to the global movement to tackle nutrition, known as Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN).

Undernutrition contributes to the deaths of more than two million children every year. Globally, 165 million children, or one in four of all under five, are stunted due to undernutrition, chronically undernourished and at risk of long-lasting damage to their cognitive and physical development.

More information: www.worldvision.org/resources.nsf/main/press-reports/$FILE/Fragile-But-Not-Helpless-UK-REPORT.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nearly half of all child deaths caused by malnutrition

Jun 05, 2013

Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half (45 percent) of all deaths in children under five, according to new research published as part of The Lancet Series on maternal and child nutrition. The results show that malnut ...

Building commitment and capacity for nutrition: Time to act

Jun 05, 2013

Global and national momentum to address the challenge of malnutrition has never been higher, and the knowledge now exists to build commitment and to convert it into enduring impacts, according to the authors of the fourth ...

Recommended for you

Sensors may keep hospitalized patients from falling

1 hour ago

(Medical Xpress)—To keep hospitalized patients safer, University of Arizona researchers are working on new technology that involves a small, wearable sensor that measures a patient's activity, heart rate, ...

Rising role seen for health education specialists

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A health education specialist can help family practices implement quality improvement projects with limited additional financial resources, according to an article published in the March/April ...

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

4 hours ago

The federal government wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

User comments