MDG 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Updated September 2013

Target 1C. Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
A family sharing rice together

Globally, there is evidence of improvements in children's nutritional status. The percentage of underweight children is estimated to have declined from 25% in 1990 to 15% in 2012. Stunting in children under five years of age has decreased globally from 40% to 25% over the same period.

In Asia, the number of stunted children is estimated to have more than halved between 1990 (192 million) and 2012 (91 million). However, in Africa the number of stunted children increased from 46 million in 1990 to 59 million in 2012. Despite these overall gains, around 99 million of children under five were estimated to be underweight in 2012.

WHO activities

WHO is working with countries:

  • to build capacity in using standard growth assessment tools;
  • to assist in planning and conducting nutritional surveys;
  • to support the analysis and interpretation of nutritional survey results;
  • to support the development of nutritional surveillance systems;
  • to ensure that nutrition is an integral part of care and support for people with HIV and TB;
  • to develop national nutrition plans and policies; and
  • to strengthen the delivery of essential nutrition actions.

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