Do you know that there are still lots of people die because of hunger and malnutrition? When you can easily and happily enjoy a glass of milk every morning and a piece of hamburger for your late snack, in some other part of the world, there are lots of children who cry in agony for a spoon of rice. Meanwhile, in other parts, there are more children is getting overweight. Yes, nutrition problem still become another concern of the world. Thus, we can see the efforts of various sectors including international organizations, state’s governments, NGOs, or individuals in various current events dealing with nutrition problem globally.
Global Statistics of Nutrition Report
Global nutrition condition has 2 biggest problems including undernutrition and overweight. Undernutrition has been a long lasting malnutrition problem which the number is getting lower gradually. While in other hand, the number of overweight’s children is getting higher.
The condition of nutrition interventions when people can’t get enough nutrition for their body to function well is a biggest leading factor of other health impacts. The health impacts can be rose like micronutrient deficiencies, undernutrition, and other acute infections such as diarrhea, tuberculosis, malaria, even HIV/AIDS. Undernutrition has been caused unnecessary more than 3 million deaths of young lives in every year and nearly half of all deaths of children under 5.
According to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Hunger Map 2015, the proportion of undernutrition in population is showing that it mostly happened in the developing country like Namibia, Zambia, Central African Republic, North Korea, etc. In the hunger statistics of UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), there is one in 9 people in the world (or about 795 million people) don’t have enough food to give them necessary nutrients for healthy and active life. Poor nutrition makes the children more likely to be stunted and vulnerable to greater illness. They are even more prone to get infected, die from common infections, and late recovery.
From United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) data track since 1990, health status due to malnutrition has positively changed, like in the following data:
Stunting or stunted growth is declined growth rate in the development of human primarily due to malnutrition. There is a declining percentage of stunting children under 5 from 255 million (40%) in 1990 to 159 million (23.8%) in 2014 globally. The highest downfall of stunted children happens in East Asia and the Pacific from 41% to only 11%. However, there is increased percentage number in West and Central Africa from 19.9 to 28 million of people between 1990 and 2014.
There were 95 million of children under 5 underweight in 2014. Although in slow pace, but underweight percentage has been declined from 25% to 14.3% between 1990 and 2014. Several countries even have been exceed the standard or MGD target including 2% in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS), 3% in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 5% in East Asia and the Pacific. Meanwhile, in West and Central Africa, the number is reversely on the rise reach 30%.
The number of overweight or obese children is getting higher now days. Overweight is a condition when body weight is greater than or equal to 25 standard index of BMI (Body Mass Index). Or when there is excessive accumulation of fat in the body that may contribute to several health problems. The number is increasing from 31 to 41 million of children under the age of 5 between 1990 and 2014. Meanwhile, the number of overweight adult reaches 1.9 billion people over the world. The number is on the rise on most regions and predicted still continue to rise. CEE/CIS is the region with greatest increase from 6.9% to 14.5% (a total of 111% percentage change), followed by South Asia 2% to 4.1% (a total of 102% percentage change) between 1990 and 2014.
The World Actions
United Nations has been actively promoted various current events dealing with nutrition problem globally, including:
1. UN Decade of Action on Nutrition
In this year of 2016, UN is officially proclaimed the start of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition following the nutrition-related targets of UN in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. In the consensus resolution, there are 193-member General Assembly calling FAO and WHO to lead the implementation. The Decade mainly urges the governments to:
– Set national food and nutrition targets.
– Implement Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) Framework for Action into their SMART financial, political commitments, and the accountability mechanisms.
– Prioritize double-duty action to address all malnutrition (undernutrition, overweight, and obesity) at the same time.
– Policy coherence on national agriculture, nutrition, and non-communicable disease strategies and policies alignments.
2. WFP’s Preventing Hunger Projects
Through WFP, UN focuses on leading innovative projects for preventing hunger so the poor and weak have no worries about next meals. Moreover, they can build a sustainable future gradually for themselves, families, and communities. The projects include:
– School Meals
School meal projects aim to encourage families to keep their children in school for building a better future. WFP will provide meals and high energy snacks/biscuits for students at school, particularly in emergency and crisis area. If the children don’t feel hungry and keep healthy, they can concentrate better on the lessons. In this way, by getting solid education, the children are expected to have higher chance on finding better foods in the future.
– Food for Assets (FFA)
FFA program aims to improve access for food-insecure people to food, increase access to livelihood assets in the crisis area, and promote gender quality. Generally, FFA will provide food assistance using food vouchers or cash transfers by participating in several activities such as building bridges, irrigation system, soil conservation, and others. So, not only prevent them from hunger, they also learn skills to help them economically in the future.
– Purchase for Progress (P4P)
P4P projects focus on smallholder farmers by connecting them to markets, so they can grow their business and improve the quality of their life and communities. By investing in smallholder farmers to be more competitive actors in the markets, it’s effective on strengthen rural economies and increase nutrition and food security for who needs them.
Beside those 3 projects, WFP still cover 2 more project including food rations for people living with HIV/AIDS and food project that focus on women. Through those several actions, UN is trying to prevent and decrease the number of malnutrition percentage over the world following other various current events dealing with nutrition related problems.