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Kyrgyzstan|life|June 24, 2022 / 03:46 PM
12 per cent of children stunted in their early years in Kyrgyzstan

AKIPRESS.COM - In Kyrgyzstan, 12 per cent of children are stunted in their early years, and only 46 per cent of infants aged 0–6 months are exclusively breastfed. The situation could be worsened due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan Christine Jaulmes said at the Forum on Food Security and Nutrition held by the Ministry of Agriculture of Kyrgyzstan today.

The event was attended by 80 members and representatives of the Scale Up Nutrition Movement (SUN) and the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Nutrition.

During the Forum, participants discussed the country’s commitments made during the Nutrition for Growth Summit, which took place in Tokyo in December 2021. This global summit aimed to step up efforts to end malnutrition and to join forces to achieve equitable access to healthy diets and improved nutrition, including though mobilizing new investment in nutrition. During the national forum, participants also shared their views on effective ways to ensure the implementation of the National Food Security and Nutrition Programme for 2019-2023.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Nurlan Sheripov, reminded participants of Kyrgyzstan’s promise: “In Tokyo, Kyrgyzstan committed to address all forms of malnutrition, with the vision to successfully eradicate the problem of malnutrition by 2030. These obligations are also reflected in the State Programme for Food Security and Nutrition in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2019-2023. This is a key priority for the Government”.

UNICEF, together with WFP, is co-facilitating the activities of the SUN Movement in the Kyrgyz Republic in order to leverage the collective strength of a wide range of stakeholders and enhance complementarity across sectors and institutions.

“Good nutrition is a crucial investment in children’s future and forms the basis of a nation’s economic development. Healthy nutrition fuels children’s growth, drives brain development, strengthens learning potential. However, in Kyrgyzstan, 12 per cent of children under five are stunted and only 46 per cent of infants aged 0–6 months are exclusively breastfed. Malnutrition is a challenge for all nations regardless of their development stage. Many countries are now experiencing a ‘double burden’ of at least two types of malnutrition where undernutrition and obesity coexist. This is also the case in Kyrgzystan. This is why it is critical that we can join forces and take timely actions to improve the nutrition status of children,” said UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan Christine Jaulmes.

Kyrgyzstan is a member of the SUN Platform since 2011. This platform brings together public authorities, civil society, UN agencies, donors, business, and academia, to better respond to the question of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight. The National Programme on Food Security and Nutrition serves as a Road map for all stakeholders involved in this area.

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