WFP – Celebrate The Good News On Malnutrition!



The Good News On Malnutrition

There’s plenty of bad news about malnutrition, starting with the fact that one in three children in the developing world suffers from chronic undernutrition and is stunted as a result. But there is good news too.



ROME–Here are five reasons to be optimistic about our chances of winning the battle against child undernutrition:


1. We have the science

There’s no lack of knowledge nowadays. We know that if you can ensure babies are nourished properly in their first 1,000 days, from the womb until the age of two, you avoid irreversible damage to their minds and bodies. It’s that simple.

Here is a list of 10 things we know about nutrition.


2. We have the tools

Treating malnutrition is getting easier. There is now a range of specialised nutrition products which are effective in preventing and treating malnutrition. They include ready-to-use foods, such as peanut or chickpea pastes, and small doses of vitamins and minerals. Have a look at some of these nutrition products


3. Prevention better than cure

There is increasing awareness that acting before malnutrition becomes severe makes economic sense. It costs $40-80 a year to give a child the special food supplements that will prevent malnutrition, while treating a severe case costs $200. Find out more about nutrition and malnutrition.



4. Private sector is on board

The private sector is increasingly involved in finding solutions to child malnutrition. Project Laser Beam, which focuses the expertise of companies such as Unilever, Kraft and DSM on the issue, initially in Bangladesh and Indonesia, is just one example. Read about some of the others on the Davos 2011 blog.



5. We’ve seen what’s possible

Within six years Brazil slashed child malnutrition by more than 70 percent. This was thanks to a range of approaches including cash transfers to the poor, maternal and child health strategies and by distributing micronutrients to vulnerable families. Read more about Brazil’s Zero Hunger campaign. What WFP is doing.



WFP is rapidly increasing the number of children, pregnant women and nursing mothers who receive new nutritionally enhanced food products. In the last two years, WFP has increased its coverage of the critical age group of under-two children who receive such specialised nutrition products from 55,312 in 2008 to 2.7 million in 2010—which is a nearly 50-fold increase.

  • Find out why child nutrition took centre stage after the floods in Pakistan
  • Find out how local ingredients are fighting malnutrition in Bolivia
  • Find out how a Haitian mother kept her kids healthy after last year’s earthquake






 ‘Change the World, Invest in Girls’


We know what the birth of a revolution looks like: A student stands before a tank. A fruit seller sets himself on fire. A line of monks link arms in a human chain. Crowds surge, soldiers fire, gusts of rage pull down the monuments of tyrants, and maybe, sometimes, justice rises from the flames. (..)  This is the tantalizing idea for activists concerned with poverty, with disease, with the rise of violent extremism: if you want to change the world, invest in girls. (..) And the World Food Programme has found that when girls and women earn income, they reinvest 90% of it in their families.


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