Child stunting, hidden hunger and human capital in South Asia
Implications for sustainable development post 2015
The early years of a child’s life provide the best opportunity to nourish physical and brain development. There is mounting evidence that poor nutrition in early life can have long-lasting consequences for learning and future productivity (Victora et al., 2008). When a girl or boy becomes stunted, it signals that they have been deprived of nutrients for linear growth and for the growth of essential organs, including the brain. These links explain why nutrition has the potential to transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable citizens and why it is so central to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (Development Initiatives, 2017).
The aim of this report is to review the evidence on the human and economic impacts of stunting and hidden hunger and the implications for South Asia.