London Conference delivers new hope for children in the battle against stunting

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Child’s arm being measured to assess his nutritional state at a feeding centre in Dahakula village, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/S. Noorani

A Nutrition for Growth event, held in London on the weekend has resulted in renewed commitments to accelerate progress towards significant reductions in stunting and improved nutrition for children and mothers around the world, including initial pledges of funds exceeding US$4 billion.

UNICEF welcomed the formal Compact agreed by participants that highlighted commitments to make nutrition a top political and socio-economic priority for both donors and countries affected by under-nutrition, capitalize on scientific knowledge and innovation to improve nutrition, and strengthen transparency and monitoring of results.

UNICEF pledged to continue its own investment in strengthening nutrition in countries worst-affected by stunting and other forms of under-nutrition – an investment represented by more than 350 nutrition experts working with governments and local communities in some 65 countries, backed by a financial contribution that has seen around US$1 billion spent by UNICEF on improving nutrition over the last five years.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake noted that "For children who face the unnecessary threat of stunting – something that not only deprives them of physical good health but dramatically weakens their potential to learn, to earn a decent income and to contribute to the prosperity and growth of their communities – [the] gathering in London underlined a global determination to meet that threat".

The event brought together leaders from governments, the private sector and civil society, hosted by the Governments of Brazil and the United Kingdom, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’30″

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