The cost of stunting
Under-nutrition is responsible for one third of deaths of children under five. Poor nutrition puts children at far greater risk of death and severe illness due to common childhood infections, such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, HIV and AIDS, and measles.
UNICEF recent report, Improving Child Nutrition: The achievable imperative for global progress highlights that one in four of all under-5 children globally is stunted because of chronic undernutrition in crucial periods of growth.
When children are denied their right nutrition from pregnancy to the age of 2, they suffer stunting. Stunting in a child is not only about being too short for his or her age. It can also mean suffering from stunted development of the brain and cognitive capacity.
The damage done to a child's body and brain by stunting is irreversible. It drags down performance at school and future earnings. It is an injustice often passed from generation to generation that cuts away at national development. Stunted children are also at a higher risk of dying from infectious diseases than other children.
Stunting can kill opportunities in life for a child and kill opportunities for the development of a nation. Our evidence of the progress that is being achieved shows that now is the time to accelerate it.