Timing is Everything

Preventing Child Undernutrition

Nutritionists and food assistance providers have long been aware that child undernutrition has damaging effects that can last a lifetime. In spite of the considerable attention and resources that have poured into addressing this challenge, child undernutrition rates remain high in many countries. Food-assisted maternal and child health and nutrition programs usually work by identifying children under five years of age who are underweight and targeting interventions toward them. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) allocates considerable resources every year to these programs; yet evidence of their contribution in reducing child undernutrition is weak. New evidence suggests that relatively small changes in how these programs are targeted and implemented can greatly increase their effectiveness at reducing child undernutrition.

Published date: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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