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World Bank: Peru an example of chronic child malnutrition reduction

Jorge Familiar, Vice presidente del Banco Mundial para America Latina. Foto: ANDINA/Melina Mejía

18:08 | Lima, Dec. 12.

World Bank Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean Jorge Familiar on Tuesday said Peru has set a global example of chronic childhood malnutrition reduction, going from 28% to 13% between 2008 and 2016.

"Peru has shown an outstanding achievement in chronic malnutrition reduction and sets an example for many countries," he underlined.

This 15-percentage-point cut in eight years is better than a six-point reduction seen by a typical country in the region during the same period.

"We have learned from Peru's success and taken this major achievement to other parts of the world: Indonesia, Egypt, Madagascar, Rwanda, as well as neighboring nations like Guatemala and Ecuador," Familiar said.

Likewise, he warned chronic malnutrition robs a quarter of children in the globe —some 156 million— the opportunity to reach their full potential. 

According to the World Bank official, the average chronic childhood malnutrition rate in Latin America is 11%, lower than that of other regions such as South Asia (36.8%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (34.7%).

However, he continued, there are cases of concern in the Latin American area, like Guatemala, where chronic malnutrition affects 46% of children, and Ecuador, where the rate reaches 25%.

"Chronic malnutrition deprives children of their right to grow, affects human capital —the basis for economic growth—, limits countries' potential, and can generate situations that perpetuate poverty and make it difficult to overcome such condition," he explained.

Familiar's remarks were made at the presentation of "Standing Tall: Peru's Success in Overcoming its Stunting Crisis," a book that details how Peru's strong political commitment and good policies —coupled with economic growth— were the recipe behind breaking the cycle of poverty perpetuated by stunting.   

(END) MDV/MDV/RMB/MVB

Published: 12/12/2017
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