Ending child hunger in our generation

Three steps to saving one million lives

An end to child deaths from malnutrition – it seems like a pretty far-fetched idea, doesn’t it?

By Sabrina de Souza

May 1 2014

As a society, we seem to have accepted that tragic though it may be, the fight against hunger is a battle we are destined to lose. But the truth is, the power is in all of our hands to stop young children dying from life-threatening malnutrition.It starts with us: the campaigners and supporters from all over the world who are choosing to be a part of Generation Nutrition.

Together, we’re piling the pressure on our governments and on our world leaders to make sure that the most vulnerable children in the world can get the start in life they deserve. 

Then, it’s up to governments to make it happen. But how exactly do we expect them to get from 1 million child deaths every year to zero, in a generation? 

Our campaign report sets out our recommendations to governments in the North and South to tackle acute malnutrition. 

But put more simply, here’s the plan:  

  1. We need to make sure every child that needs life-saving treatment has access to it. At the moment, only 1 in 10 children with the severest form of the condition will get the treatment they desperately need even though we know it will help. If governments in countries where malnutrition is rife, as well as governments in richer countries that support lower income countries, invest in putting this effective treatment within reach of every child then countless lives will be saved.
     
  2.  We need to prevent  children from developing malnutrition in the first place by supporting poorer families who are the most at risk. At the moment, millions of families can’t access the nutritious food, clean water or education they need. If governments support communities by making sure families have enough land to grow the food they need, by installing a clean water supply, or by spreading the word about how important it is to breastfeed, the number of children becoming malnourished will massively come down. 
     
  3. We need every government around the world to agree to make child malnutrition a top priority  if we’re going to come close to our goal of ending child deaths from this treatable and preventable condition.  If governments set new global and national targets to reduce acute malnutrition we’ll get the momentum we need to make sure we achieve them. 

An end to death from hunger. It might have seemed a little far-fetched, but we’re sure it’s within reach. 

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This article was first published on the Generation Nutrition website.