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FACTBOX-Malnutrition killing 300 children an hour

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 15 Feb 2012 10:05 GMT
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LONDON (AlertNet) - Millions of parents have cut back on food for their families and some are pulling their children out of school to send them to work as they struggle to pay for basics, Save the Children says in a report. Below are some facts on malnutrition and the findings from a survey that was commissioned by the aid agency and carried out from December 2011 to January 2012.

* Every hour 300 children die because of malnutrition. It’s an underlying cause of more than a third of child deaths – 2.6 million every year

* One in four children are stunted. In developing countries the figure is as high as one in three – this means their body and brain failed to develop properly because of malnutrition

* Some 450 million children will be affected by stunting in the next 15 years if the current trend continues

* Almost half of children in India are stunted even though it is a boom economy

* Of countries with reliable data, Madagascar has the highest stunting rate with over half of children being stunted

* Iodine deficiency affects one third of school children in developing countries and is associated with a loss of 10-15 IQ points

* Adults who were malnourished as children earn at least 20 percent less on average than those who weren’t

* It’s estimated that 2-3 percent of the national income of a country can be lost to malnutrition

* Four fifths of stunted children live in just 20 countries

* Malnutrition would have cost the 20 hardest-hit countries up to $120 billion in 2010


What the survey showed:

* In India, more than a quarter of parents surveyed said their children went without food sometimes or often

* In Nigeria, nearly a third of parents said they had pulled their children out of school so they could work to help pay for food

* In Bangladesh, 87 percent of those surveyed said the price of food had been their most pressing concern in 2010

* The proportion of parents who reported cutting back on food for their families was 62 percent in Peru and Nigeria, 50 percent in Bangladesh, 39 percent in Pakistan and 30 percent in India

Figures from various sources quoted by Save the Children report: “A Life Free From Hunger”

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