For the first two decades after 1990, Nepal took great strides in reducing malnutrition. But progress has stalled.
Nepal registered one of the most dramatic reductions in undernourishment among children and women after the government and international agencies took action in recent decades to reverse shocking statistics that showed half of under-5 mortality in the country was due to insufficient nourishment.
“Nepal is the best country to showcase how political will can implement a multisectoral nutrition program,” says Brenda Kellen, director of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), which is holding a global nutrition conference in Kathmandu this week.
“From being one of the countries with the highest malnutrition in the 1990s, with stunting at 57%, to have reduced it to 36% — Nepal can offer lessons for the rest of the world and its model can be replicated elsewhere,” says Kellen, who added that holding the fifth SUN global gathering in Kathmandu was recognition of this achievement.
Over 1,000 delegates from 61 countries are attending the conference to discuss the progress, challenges and priorities ahead to ending malnutrition by 2030, a target set by the United Nations’ World Health Assembly.