Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development: A Strategy for Large-Scale Action
Persistent malnutrition contributes not only to widespread failure to meet the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) - to halve poverty and hunger - but also to meet other goals related to maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, education, and gender equity. Underweight prevalence among children is the key indicator for measuring progress on nonincome poverty, and malnutrition remains the world's most serious health problem - as well as the single largest contributor to child mortality. Nearly one-third of children in the developing world are underweight or stunted, and more than 30% of the developing world's population suffers from micronutrient deficiencies. Moreover, new malnutrition problems are emerging: the epidemic of obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases is spreading to the developing world, and malnutrition is linked to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Repositioning Nutrition as Central to Development: A Strategy for Large-Scale Action (2006) makes the case that development partners and developing countries must increase investment in nutrition programs. This case is based on evidence that the scale of the problem is very large and that nutrition interventions are essential for speeding poverty reduction, have high benefit-cost ratios, and can improve nutrition much faster than reliance on economic growth alone. Moreover, improved nutrition can drive economic growth. The report proposes to the international development community and national governments a global strategy for accelerated action in nutrition.