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close this bookPlan of Action for the Survival, Protection and Development of Children (United Nations)
close this folderII. Specific actions for child survival, protection and development
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe Convention on the Rights of the Child
View the documentChild health
View the documentFood and nutrition
View the documentRole of women, maternal health and family planning
View the documentRole of the family
View the documentBasic education and literacy
View the documentChildren in especially difficult circumstances
View the documentProtection of children during armed conflicts
View the documentChildren and the environment
View the documentAlleviation of poverty and revitalization of economic growth

Food and nutrition

13. Hunger and malnutrition in their different forms contribute to about half of the deaths of young children. More than 20 million children suffer from severe malnutrition, 150 million are underweight and 350 million women suffer from nutritional anaemia. Improved nutrition requires (a) adequate household food security, (b) healthy environment and control of infections and (c) adequate maternal and child care. With the right policies, appropriate institutional arrangements and political priority, the world is now in a position to feed all the world's children and to overcome the worst forms of malnutrition, i.e. drastically to reduce diseases that contribute to malnutrition, to halve protein-energy malnutrition, virtually to eliminate vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency disorders and to reduce nutritional anaemia significantly.

14. For the young child and the pregnant woman, provision of adequate food during pregnancy and lactation; promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, including frequent feeding; growth monitoring with appropriate follow-up actions; and nutritional surveillance are the most essential needs. As the child grows older, and for the adult population as a whole, an adequate diet is an obvious human priority. Meeting this need requires employment and income-generating opportunities, dissemination of knowledge and supporting services to increase food production and distribution. These are key actions within broader national strategies to combat hunger and malnutrition.