Southern Africa: Malnutrition Snapshot (as of July 2014)

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 25 Jul 2014


Malnutrition levels, particularly stunting levels, in the southern Africa region are very high, as is reflected in child nutritional status. All the countries in the region have stunting levels that are of concern, above the 20% World Health Organization (WHO) threshold for stunting.

Stunting (low height for age), is an irreversible outcome of chronic nutritional deficiency during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. When a child is stunted, essential physical and mental growth processes are compromised. If the root causes of stunting are not addressed during the first two years of life, the impacts of the growth restriction prevail through adulthood, resulting in a higher risk of non-communicable diseases. The effects of stunting impact an entire nation. It is estimated that investing in child nutrition can increase a country’s gross domestic product by 2 to 3 percent

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