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The State of the World's Children 2000


The State of the World's Children 2000 seeks to fan the flame that burned so brilliantly a decade ago, when world leaders adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, and then confirmed their commitments for children and adolescents at the 1990 World Summit for Children. It is a call to leaders in industrialized and developing countries alike to reaffirm their promises for children. It is a call for vision and leadership within families and communities, where the respect for the rights of children and women is first born and nurtured and where the protection of those rights begins.

Despite the progress made, the last decade has also witnessed countless abuses of women and children. The section of this report, "Undeclared war", discusses four of the most daunting obstacles to full human development: HIV/AIDS, armed conflict and violence, increasing poverty, and gender discrimination. The chapter, "In a single generation", is based on the belief that intergenerational patterns of poverty, violence, disease and discrimination can be broken in a single generation. This section offers compelling arguments about the power of early childhood care, quality education, and participation and development for adolescents in ensuring children's rights and human development. In addition to eight statistical tables which summarize data on the well being of children from 193 countries, and six maps which illustrate child and adolescent populations, there are ten pages of evocative photographs showing the strength of families, communities, women, children and adolescents. Also noted are 52 individuals who have distinguished themselves by their work on behalf of children.

Published by UNICEF, ISBN: 92 806 3538 8 US $12.95 Contact: Div of Communication, 3 UN Plaza, NY NY 10017 USA; email:

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 1999


To fight world hunger, policy makers, the public and the media need to know precisely who is hungry and why. This is the information contained in FAO's latest publication, "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 1999" (SOFI). SOFI provides detailed data on the number of people facing hunger by region and looks at a broad range of factors that contribute to food insecurity. The report offers some encouraging news. Since 1990/92, the number of people going hungry in developing countries has declined by 40 million. Food insecurity fell in 37 countries between 1990/92 and 1995/97. But the number of hungry people in developing countries remains unacceptably high, at 790 million. The findings in SOFI make it dear that at the current rate of progress - 8 million fewer food insecure people each year - the World Food Summit's goal of reducing the number of hungry people in the world by half by the year 2015 will not be reached. SOFI also presents the first data on hunger in industrialized regions. According to SOFI, around 34 million undernourished people are living in developed countries. More than 75% of them are in the countries in transition in Eastern Europe and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Contact B Huddleston, Chief, Food Security Service, FAO, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy; telephone 39 06 570 53052; email

Food Security and Nutrition: The Global Challenge

Edited by
Uwe Kracht and Manfred Schulz


This book is a response to recent advances in the understanding and conceptualization of food security and nutrition problems and their underlying food and non-food causes. In it, over 40 experts and leading authorities from academic and development institutions, multilateral and bilateral aid agencies and non-governmental organizations take a fresh analytical look at world hunger and the strategies to eliminate it. The book is divided into five parts:

Part I deals with concepts, trends and projections into the early 21st century; Part II presents nine case studies on selected topics drawn from the world's major regions; Part III discusses present and future strategies to overcome hunger and malnutrition; Part IV examines the institutional framework for international cooperation and an emerging global policy and action agenda; and Part V synthesizes the food security and nutrition outlook and policy agenda. The book addresses such emerging topics as the ethical dimension of development and, in this context, the role of human rights in solving food and nutrition problems. Considerable space is given to the future role of technology in feeding the world's growing population in the long run, in particular biotechnologies and genetic engineering, and the implications of a transition from the Green Revolution to the Gene Revolution. Against the background of growing local and regional conflicts, the book also addresses the humanitarian challenge of famine prevention in civil strife.

The book is designed to further interdisciplinary debate and understanding of this vital issue among all concerned with the sustainable development and future of our Planet. In particular, it addresses all those involved in one way or another in the fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and, more generally, in international development cooperation. It is equally intended as a reader for teaching at the higher education and university levels.

This 1999, 692pp hardcover book (ISBN 3-8258-3166-3 Germany; ISBN 0-312-22249-1 USA) may be ordered from: LIT Verlag, Grevener Str, 179, D-48159 M, Germany, Fax: +49-251-231972, e-mail: or from: St. Martin's Press.

Nutrition for Health & Development Progress and Prospects on the Eve of the 21s1 Century


Nearly half of the more than 10 million deaths among under-five year old children each year in developing countries are associated with malnutrition; iodine deficiency is the greatest single preventable cause of brain damage and mental retardation; and vitamin A deficiency remains the greatest preventable cause of needless childhood blindness. Concurrently, particularly in rapidly developing and industrialized countries, there is a massive emerging obesity epidemic among children, adolescents and adults - in some cases affecting more than half of the adult population. The human health consequences are dramatic since obesity is such a major risk factor for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, and other chronic degenerative diseases. Resources allocated to preventing and reducing infectious and noncommunicable diseases will be effectively invested only to the extent that the underlying causes of malnutrition are successfully engaged. With malnutrition at the very centre of poverty and underdevelopment, it is essential for health focused development to promote healthy nutrition.

This report summarizes WHO's approach to combating the major forms of malnutrition and describes the related technical support that WHO is providing its Member States, in close collaboration with the international community, at global and regional levels. It sets out WHO's vision, mandate, aim and objectives for good nutrition and it provides an up-to-date analysis of the current magnitude and distribution of malnutrition. The report also summarizes activities and achievements in the programme's seven priority action areas: protein-energy malnutrition; micronutrient malnutrition including iodine, vitamin A and iron deficiencies; obesity; infant and young child feeding; national nutrition policy and planning; nutrition in emergencies; and food aid for development. Finally, the report highlights WHO's nutrition research work, global and regional nutrition surveillance activities in the programme's seven nutrition data banks, and its worldwide network of collaborating centres in nutrition.

WHO/NDH/99.9 p122, Progress Report June 1999 contact NDH, WHO, 20 Avenue Appia, CH 1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland; fax +41 22 791 4870; email:

Domestic Environment and Health of Women and Children

Edited by
HNB Gopalan and S Saksena

The household environment of poor people, especially women and children in developing countries, carries great health risks. These risks are typically 'traditional' in nature i.e., they're associated with a lack of development. Household environmental problems typically include overcrowding, lack of sanitation and garbage disposal, indoor air pollution, and vector-breeding grounds. It has been estimated that about 30% of the global burden of disease could be averted by improvements in the household environment and of these, 20% are just modest interventions. Health risks associated with the domestic environment include lower respiratory infections in children, diarrhoea, and adverse reproductive outcomes.


This book is an assessment of the state of knowledge, contemporary situation, and status of scientific data that links domestic environmental parameters to the health of women and children. It identifies critical knowledge gaps and needed research. Further, it provides policy options, guidelines, possible interventions, and regulatory tools for improving their health. Estimations are based on modern analytical tools such as total and integrated individual daily exposure, burden of disease and disability adjusted life years used in risk assessment. A few important epidemiological studies and case studies that attempt to alleviate health problems have also been highlighted. Housing, fuel shortage and indoor pollution, water supply and sanitation, and nutritional status are reviewed in this book. Given that the health problems associated with the domestic environment mainly affect women and children, gender issues are a strong component of this study. The book provides examples of how social and political backgrounds determine women's activity patterns at home and at work, and how this consequently affects their health, The book provides facts and arguments to support a case for transforming current environmental regulatory tools and policies for achieving sustainable health improvement for women and children.

(ISBN 81 85419-54-X) 1999, p253, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), PO Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya, telephone 254 2 623246; fax 254 2 623861; email or TATA Energy Research Institute, Darbari Seth Block, Habitat Place, Lodhi Rd, New Delhi 110 003 India, telephone 9111 460 1550; fax 9111 4621770; email

World Development Report 1999/2000: Entering the 21st Century: The Changing Development Landscape


Policymakers in the next century will need to pursue development across a transformed economic and political landscape. The World Development Report, the 22nd edition in this annual series, focuses on two forces of change: the world economy and the increasing demand for self government, which will affect responses to key issues such as climate change and water scarcity. It proposes rules and structures on which to build a more effective, comprehensive approach to development; provides insight into how current viewpoints can be adapted to fit evolving development concerns; and offers guidance for decision makers, researchers, and others with an interest in development.

Hardcover (ISBN 0-19-521125 1) 1999, p312 US $50; Paperback (ISBN 0 19 521124 3) US$26. The World Bank, PO Box 960, Herndon VA 20172-0960, USA; telephone: 703 661 1580; fax 703 661 1501; email

Towards the Conquest of Vitamin A Deficiency Disorders

By Donald S McLaren

This book describes the saga of vitamin A in a refreshingly anecdotal manner. At first glance, the book appears to be an autobiography, but Donald McLaren's "personal Odyssey" has always led him to areas directly or indirectly involving vitamin A, It is a testimonial to his life's work which spans over half a century. Dr McLaren made early and decisive contributions to the general recognition of vitamin A deficiency as a public health problem and to our current ability to combat this condition effectively. The history of vitamin A is told from a medical point of view and the value of this publication lies in the way it revealingly draws the reader's attention to the element of time. Those prepared to take a cold, hard look at the aberrations and confusions of the past run less of a risk of accepting today's received wisdom as definitive and absolute. The insight that the current state of our knowledge is also a measure of our current ignorance is a crucial impetus for the improvements and advances of tomorrow.


Chapter 1 outlines the history of vitamin A deficiency disorders and of the discovery of the vitamin. Chapter 2 is a personal odyssey which interweaves Or McLaren's own experiences in many developing countries with a series of panels that serve as vignettes of various people, places or institutions involved in the VAD field. Chapter 3 discusses the new era for VAD which began in the early 1980s with large scale field studies and the knowledge that vitamin A plays an important role in young child survival. Chapter 4 looks to the future and the conquest of VAD. There is no question that Dr McLaren is an irredeemably inquisitive investigator and a man who argues his views elegantly.

(ISBN 3 906412 02 4) 1999, p144. Task Force SIGHT AND LIFE, PO Box 2116, 4002 Basel, Switzerland; telephone +41 61 688 7494; fax +41 61 688 1910; email

Focusing on Women Works: Research on improving micronutrient status through food-based interventions

By Charlotte Johnson-Welch


The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) has published a series of three summary reports to explore ways to strengthen women's contributions to reducing iron and vitamin A and to a lesser extent, iodine, deficiencies by combining women's productive and reproductive activities. The idea was to tap into women's roles as income-earners and food producers on the one hand, and as food processors and care givers on the other. Community members, particularly women, drew on their knowledge and experiences to develop and implement solutions to micronutrient deficiency problems in their communities. ICRW, a nonprofit policy research institution that promotes economic and social development with women's full participation, undertook five action research studies in Ethiopia, Kenya, Peru, Tanzania and Thailand in order to contribute to the dialogue of how policies and programmes can invest in women, and thereby investing in improved nutrition and well being. Other reports of this series are "Reducing Vitamin A Deficiency in Ethiopia: Linkages with a women-focused dairy goat farming project" and "The Effects of Women Farmers' Adoption of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes: Raising vitamin A intake in Kenya:"

Contact ICRW, 1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 302, Washington DC 20036 USA; fax: 1-202-797-0020: email

A Critical Link: Interventions for physical growth and psychological development

Gretel Pelto, Katherine Dickin and Patrice Engle authored this expert review linking good nutrition with caring environments for children's intellectual and social development. The future of society depends on children being able to achieve their optimal physical growth and psychological development. This requires that children be protected from the immediate risks to their life and the long term damages of repeated illness.


A Critical Link reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of three types of interventions: those designed to support physical growth, those to improve psychological development, and combined interventions to improve both growth and psychological development. The review concludes that the most effective programmes are ones that link interventions to enhance the intellectual and social development of children with interventions to improve their nutrition. Combined interventions, for example, have a better effect on growth than programmes that focus on nutrition deficits alone. Furthermore, children under three years old gain most from nutritional and psychological interventions, and the greatest improvements in both growth and development are seen among malnourished children. Programmes that provide early childhood care and education have a greater effect if they also help families gain skills to provide better nutrition and support for the psychological development of their children.

Evidence for these conclusions comes from a range of experiences, including: the Programa de Alimentacao de Pre-Escolar (Brazil), Hogares Comunitarios de Bienestar (Columbia), Integrated Child Development Services (India), PANDAI Project (Indonesia), PRONOEL (Peru), Family Development Programme (Thailand), and Head Start (USA).

WHO/CAH/99.3, 1999, p79, FREE (US$7 per copy for 10 or more copies) WHO Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development 1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland

Devenir Ami des Ms: Guide pratique: femmes actives et allaitement maternel

By P van Esterik and L Menon


Devenir l'ami des ms est un rltat concret de l'initiative des Lieux de Travail Amis des Ms (MFWI) lancpar WABA en 1993. Dans un style facilement accessible, il aborde les probls auxquels sont confront les femmes actives qui choisissent d'allaiter. Ce manuel donne des informations et prodigue des conseils sur la mani dont les femmes peuvent associer l'allaitement maternel a la reprise d'une activitrofessionnelle. Ces informations concernent la situation des femmes et du travail dans le monde, les bienfaits et avantages de l'allaitement maternel, les expences men dans plusieurs pays en mati de crion des Lieux de Travail Amis des Ms, la lslation rssant la maternitt d'autres politiques qui protnt les femmes allaitantes et actives, et la documentation en la mati. Ce manuel est une ressource utile pour les femmes actives, les employeurs, les syndicalistes, les groupes de femmes, les activistes de la santet des dnseurs de l'allaitement maternel.

WABA is pleased to announce the publication of "Being Mother Friendly" in French. WABA acknowledges IBFAN Afrique, Burkina Faso for doing the translation of this book. (ISBN 983 99192 0 2) p105. US$20 per copy via airmail in developed countries; complimentary copies are provided to groups in developing countries where there is a need.

WABA, PO Box 1200,10850, Penang, Malaysia; telephone: 60 4 6584 816; fax 60 4 6572 655; email

List of FREE MATERIALS in Reproductive Health


The 1999 List of Free Materials in Reproductive Health is the eighth edition prepared and issued by the Program for International Training in Health (INTRAH), The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. It is the aim of this list of free materials to inform reproductive health professionals, particularly in developing countries, of the large number and variety of materials available free of charge from organizations around the world. This edition contains over 740 entries, organized info ten categories: overview of reproductive health, family planning, maternal and newborn health, family and community health, reproduction and sexuality, STIs/RTIs and HIV/AIDS, gender, people and the environment, economic and community development, catalogues and resources. Each entry contains a brief description as well as bibliographic and ordering information, including restrictions concerning availability. The Appendix contains an index of materials by organization and by title and a sample request letter. Readers may request materials by directly contacting the organization identified at the end of each description.

(ISBN 1 681961 56 7) 1999 INTRAH p276 Contact in North America INTRAH, 1700 Airport Rd, Suite 300, Chapel Hill NC 27514 USA; phone 919 966 5636; fax 919 966 6816; email West/Central/North Africa, BP 12357, LomTogo; email intrah@cafg East/Southern Africa, PO Box 44958, Nairobi, Kenya; email Asia/Near East, 53 Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, India 110 003 email LatinAmerica/Caribbean, Federico Henriquez y Carrajal #11, Los Casicasoz, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; email

International Year of Older Persons 1999