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London conference delivers new hope for children in the battle against stunting and other forms of undernutrition – UNICEF

LONDON, 8 June 2013 – The Nutrition for Growth event held in London today delivered a new opportunity to further reduce the crippling impact of stunting and other forms of undernutrition for millions of children, says 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.”

The event, which brought together leaders from governments, the private sector and civil society, hosted by the Governments of Brazil and the United Kingdom, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), 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 formal Compact agreed by participants that highlighted commitments to make nutrition a top political and socio-economic priority for both donors and countries affected by undernutrition, capitalise on scientific knowledge and 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 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.


UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For further information, please contact:

Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Deputy Director of Communication New York/London, Mobile +1 917 310
8969, ecarwardine@unicef.org

Peter Smerdon, UNICEF New York, Tel: +1 212 303 7984, Mobile:+1 917 213 5188, psmerdon@unicef.org




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