In Focus: Working to close nutrition gaps in the Europe and Central Asia Region

Ensuring children have the nutrition they need to grow up and thrive

Avet, age 4, knows that salt matters. “I always help my mom with the cooking; I add the salt,”


At first glance, it would seem safe to assume that children living in the Europe and Central Asia Region enjoy good levels of nutrition. Yet this is a Region characterized by nutrition gaps, with some children in some countries missing out on the proper nutrition they need to grow and thrive. 

Many of the problems start with the poor nutrition of women, even before they conceive, with women who are already suffering from micronutrient deficiencies more likely to have premature births. The problems continue into the earliest years of a child’s life, with poor rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the Region and often inadequate feeding practices that put children at risk of either stunting or obesity. These problems are compounded by the fact that child nutrition is simply not a development priority in many parts of the Region.

UNICEF works with partners across the Europe and Central Asia Region to make child nutrition a priority and to close the nutritional gaps that put children at risk of a life-time of poor health and stifled development.

in focus on nutrition report cover
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