World Bank chief tells India to focus on stunted children

11 Jul 2016 | By Sneha Johny

At a recent visit, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim sounded a dire warning to India on its present levels of nutrition amongst children, resulting in stunted growth.

Upon visiting a health care shelter to understand India's involvement in childhood stunting, Dr. Kim said there was high prevalence of malnutrition.

He said that assistance from the Bank on the health sector will be provided.

In context: India's malnutrition woes

What is stunting?

Stunting is the lack of growth and development, especially amongst children, that is predominantly caused by insufficient diet and lack of nutrition. This impairs cognitive and physical development in children. It is estimated that there are over 209 million stunted children all over the world.

21 Jan 2016Where does India stand on malnutrition?

India's National Family Health Survey released data earlier this year that points to a gradual decrease in malnutrition, although there is still a dire necessity for it to be controlled.

Spanning 15 states, the data covered that over 37% children under 5 faced stunting growth.

Bihar ranked the lowest with over 48% children stunted, while Delhi fared better with about 30% stunted children.

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India's malnutrition levels: To hamper India's development

Tackling malnutrition to boost India's growthIndia's malnutrition levels: To hamper India's development

The Global Nutrition Report that was published last year stipulates that India's count of 39% stunted children below the age of 5 is much higher than the global average of 24%.

The children, who will later be the face of India, will have cognitive disabilities, lower literacy rates and decreased mental development.

This will push India's workforce to be incompetent against other developing countries.

28 Apr 2016Steps taken by the Indian government to curb malnutrition

India's Women and Child Development Ministry implemented schemes earlier this year that targeted the development of children and nutritional well-being of girls and women.

The schemes launched were the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme and Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Adolescent Girls.

Both these schemes enabled the distribution of nutritional and non-nutritional supplements towards health care shelters, or otherwise known as "anganwadi centres"

11 Jul 2016World Bank chief tells India to focus on stunted children

Fight stunting to develop thriving workforce: WB chief to India

"This is the bottom line: if you walk into the future economy with 40% of your workforce having been stunted as children, you are simply not going to be able to compete." - Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President, on India's need to fight stunting.