CHILD NUTRITION REPORT 2024 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Health)

News-CRUX-10     20th June 2024        
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Context: Recently, Unicef's new metric on 'child food poverty' has highlighted the severity of the food and nutrition crisis affecting children under 5 years worldwide.

Key Findings of Child Nutrition Report 2024

  • According to Unicef's 'Child Nutrition Report 2024', 27% of children worldwide are categorized under severe child food poverty, surviving on inadequate diets.
  • Regional Disparities: The severity varies widely among countries: from 1% in Belarus to as high as 63% in Somalia, with India notably at 40%, indicating a significant challenge.
  • Definition and Drivers of Child Food Poverty: Unicef defines child food poverty as the inability of children to access and consume a nutritious and diverse diet in their first five years of life.

oContributing factors include poor food environments, inadequate feeding practices, and household poverty affecting both poor and non-poor families.

  • Impact on Child Nutrition and Development: Severe child food poverty correlates with higher rates of child undernutrition, particularly in countries with prevalent stunting, where the rates are three times higher.
  • India's Nutrition Challenges: India, as per the National Family Health Survey-5, faces significant undernutrition challenges, with stunting at 35.5%, wasting at 19.3%, and underweight at 32.1% for children under five.

UNICEF

  • Establishment: It was created in 1946 as the International Children’s Emergency Fund (ICEF) by the UN Relief Rehabilitation Administration to aid children affected by World War II.
  • Headquarter: New York
  • Permanent UN Entity: In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system, evolving its focus beyond emergencies to long-term child welfare and development.
  • Mandated by: United Nations General Assembly, UNICEF advocates for children's rights, works to fulfill their basic needs, and strives to expand opportunities for their development.
  • Guided by: UNICEF operates under the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), aiming to establish these rights as universal ethical standards.
  • Honour: In 1965, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for its efforts in fostering international cooperation and understanding among nations.
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