How to maintain momentum on nutrition and early childhood development

Of the many issues relevant to international development and poverty reduction, which would you rank as being the most important? According to Dr Jim Kim, World Bank President, the biggest single issue in development is that one in four children suffer from stunting (being well below average height for their age), an indicator of chronic malnutrition among children.

During the World Bank Annual Meetings in October, Dr Kim said:

“Poor nutrition, few opportunities for early learning and stimulation, and toxic environments literally hardwire young children to miss out on opportunities to learn and later to earn good wages.”

Many countries including Australia have welcomed the reappointment of Dr Kim as World Bank President for the next 5 years. One of Dr Kim’s stated priorities for his second term is an increased focus on nutrition and early childhood development.

On 6 October 2016, the World Bank hosted the "Investing in the Early Years" Summit during its Annual Meetings, at which senior ministers from eight countries made commitments to promote early childhood development and reduce stunting among children.

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