Children feared to suffer stunted growth


Faced with food shortages, war and diseases, African children are being denied education by terrorists

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
DRC Bureau
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – COUNTRIES in Sub-Saharan African Africa are projected to bear the heaviest burden with an estimated 194 million children born between now and 2030 forecast to suffer stunted growth.

This will prevail unless world leaders gathering next week at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit urgently accelerate progress towards meeting the goals.

Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to account for 86 million cases of stunting for children born between the said period, followed closely by South Asia with 67 million cases.

The Eastern Asia and Pacific region is set to witness nearly 22 million stunted children, while the Middle East and North Africa brace for 9,6 million cases, and Latin and Central America anticipate 6,7 million children facing stunted growth.

Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stand among the top four countries expected to face the highest levels of stunting in the next seven years with over 25 percent of their populations currently experiencing crisis levels of hunger.

These are the latest findings from Save the Children’s new data visualisation tool, the Child Atlas, which exposes the grim consequences of global inaction in addressing rising levels of malnutrition, which countries committed to end in SDG2 on zero hunger.

The Child Atlas also found that more than half of projected stunting cases to children born in the next seven years will happen to minors living in the poorest 40 percent of households, underscoring the impact of extreme poverty on children’s development.

While stunting has steadily decreased since 2000, progress has fallen short of the internationally agreed targets of 100 million cases by 2025 or to eradicate all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

Nana Ndeda, Head of Advocacy and Policy for Hunger at Save the Children, lamented that nearly one child born every minute for the next seven years will suffer from stunted growth.

“That’s more than all the children under 18 currently living in the G7 countries combined,” Ndeda said.

The official fears if the world does not eradicate all forms of malnutrition in the next seven years, an entire generation of children will suffer the ripple effects of hunger.

“Children must be at the forefront of all decisions at next week’s UNGA; their futures depend on it,” Ndeda said.

UNGA is an acronym for the United Nations General Assembly.

– CAJ News







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