Date Published: 8 June 2013
Focus on reduction of child undernutrition and stunted growth & development
The Nutrition for Growth event held in London on 8 June 2013 delivered a new opportunity to further reduce the crippling impact of stunting and other forms of undernutrition (see info about undernutrition diseases) for millions of children, according to the childrens' organization UNICEF.
" For children who face the unnecessary threat of stunting ? something that not only deprives them of physical good health but dramatically weakens their potential to learn, to earn a decent income and to contribute to the prosperity and growth of their communities ? today's gathering in London underlined a global determination to meet that threat," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.
" Stunting is the least understood crisis for too many children today. It is not only a challenge, but a huge development opportunity. Investing in nutrition is highly cost-effective. It pays off in the lives of children and in reducing poverty."
This event, which was hosted by the Governments of Brazil and the United Kingdom, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), attracted government leaders, representatives from the private sector organizations and others. It resulted in renewed commitments to accelerate progress towards significant reductions in stunting and improved nutrition for children and mothers around the world, including initial pledges of funds exceeding US$4 billion.
UNICEF welcomed the participants' commitments to make nutrition a top political and socio-economic priority for both donors and countries affected by undernutrition, to capitalise on scientific knowledge and on further innovation to improve nutrition, and strengthen transparency and monitoring of results.
At the Nutrition for Growth event, UNICEF pledged to continue its own investment in strengthening nutrition in countries worst-affected by stunting and other forms of malnutrition and undernutrition ? an investment represented by more than 350 nutrition experts working with governments and local communities in some 65 countries, backed by a financial contribution that has seen around US$1 billion spent by UNICEF on improving nutrition over the last five years.
" London has emphasised the importance of resolute leadership in the battle against stunting ? a battle we can win, if we accelerate our efforts and build on the pledges made here today," said Mr. Lake.