|© UNICEF Angola/2005|
|Mothers breastfeeding their children in Angola.|
Malnutrition is, by the same logic, devastating. It plays a part in more than a third of all child deaths in developing countries. It blunts the intellect, saps the productivity of everyone it touches and perpetuates poverty.
Although fewer children are undernourished than in the 1990s, 1 in 4, or 143 million under-five children in the developing world are still underweight and only 38 per cent of children under six months are exclusively breastfed . While significant progress has been made in relation to vitamin A supplementation and salt iodization, micronutrient deficiencies remain significant public health problems in many countries. It is essential to address undernutrition if there is any hope of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Proper nutrition helps give every child the best start in life. UNICEF has worked from its founding on nutrition programming aimed at fulfilling every child’s right to adequate nutrition. UNICEF is committed to scaling up and sustaining coverage of its current high-impact nutrition interventions in the programme areas of: (1) Infant and Young Child Feeding; (2) Micronutrients; (3) Nutrition Security in Emergencies; and (4) Nutrition and HIV/AIDS. UNICEF is committed to a life-cycle approach, to using partnerships and to creating and enhancing integrated interventions to maximize effectiveness, such as combining vitamin A supplementation with other accelerated child survival interventions through Child Health Events.