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More Kenyan children going hungry: Survey

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by MziziMkavu, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Feb 17, 2012
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    A boy collects maize that dropped from a truck carrying food aid. According to a report by Save the Children, the number of children suffering from malnutrition in Kenya has increased in the last decade. Photo/FILE By JOY WANJA MURAYA
    The number of children suffering from malnutrition in Kenya has increased in the last decade.

    A global report released by Save the Children says millions of Kenyan children suffer from chronic malnutrition.

    The report, A Life Free from Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition, says soaring food prices and malnutrition are putting additional pressure on countries with high burdens of child mortality.

    Poverty is cited as one of the main underlying causes of malnutrition, not because there is no nutritious food available, but because parents and guardians cannot afford to buy it.

    Spent all their income

    “The research shows that a significant proportion of families in communities in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya could not afford to feed their families a nutritious diet even if they spent all their income on food,” says the report.

    The survey presents a snapshot of the hardship families face in countries where, even before food price spikes, many of the poorest children were already surviving on a basic diet such as white rice, maize or cassava, which have very low nutritional value.

    Save the Children Kenya country director Prasant Naik notes that the government of Kenya has made some achievements in reducing hunger and malnutrition though more needs to be done. (READ: Israeli help sought in war on hunger)

    “There is very weak coordination between the authorities and aid agencies and funding levels for hunger and nutrition have remained low,” he adds.“The country still lacks a strong political will to tackle child malnutrition, or nutrition champions to lobby for the right policies,” he says.

    The report says 15 million more children are suffering from chronic malnutrition in Africa compared to 1990.

    Every hour of every day, 300 children die of malnutrition, it says.

    “Today, two in five African children or 60 million are malnourished. This figure is expected to rise by 8.5 million this decade if current trends continue,” states the report.

    Half of the world’s malnourished children live in five countries – Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, India and Bangladesh – where 50 per cent of all families have been forced to cut back on food.

    Malnutrition is attributed to a third of all child deaths worldwide, or 2.6 million per year.

    Source. More Kenyan children going hungry: Survey *- News*|nation.co.ke