Committee: World Health Organization
Topic: Infant and Child Nutrition
Mexico is deeply alarmed by the one-in-three children who are suffering from malnutrition worldwide. With over 40 million overweight children and 149 million children stunted, our world is in desperate need of an urgent solution for malnutrition. The lack of adequate childhood nutrition increases vulnerability to health problems and poor brain development in future years. Delegations must take action in the proper nourishment of infants and children, as it directly affects the future success of the country. Child malnutrition typically occurs in the poorest households and most impoverished communities, which means the ones suffering the most lack the resources needed to end their suffering. Without proper guidelines and programs to assure adequate nutrition in children, many children develop an unhealthy relationship with food, even in communities with higher economic fortune. Diminishing malnutrition is not only about getting children enough to eat but getting them the right food to eat. Although malnutrition varies from country to country, the steps to prevention steps are almost identical. Children need adequate maternal nutrition during pregnancy, nutritious, diverse and safe foods, and access to safe water.
Mexico has suffered from the effects of malnutrition and food insecurity for years. This is not a result of food availability, but rather the fact that people living in poverty do not have the resources to obtain necessary nutritional food. Addressing this problem, Mexico has set in place many programs, including the National Crusade against Hunger (Cruzada Nacional Contra el Hambre in Spanish or CNCH). The CNCH fights to end hunger in poverty-stricken areas by pioneering grassroots strategies to provide adequate nutrition for those in need and improve height and weight indicators of children. The program increases the production of food and income of Campesinos and small producers, minimizes loss of food after harvest, and increases public participation in the eradication of hunger through community educational events. Many countries have followed Mexico’s active and thriving program, launching initiatives of their own in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama. Another program, Prospera, strengthens the social rights of the poor by improving their capabilities, especially their nutrition, health, and education capabilities, and contributing to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Their motive is achieved by direct monetary support to beneficiary families for food necessities, and a basic nutrition package and nutrition supplements for children under five years old and pregnant and lactating women. Funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and/or the World Bank can be applied to countries that don’t have budgets set aside for nutrition programs, as the World Bank made a significant contribution to Prospera.
Concerned for the safety and health of children worldwide, Mexico is deeply invested in developing a solution to combat and defeat malnutrition in infants and children worldwide. Through the expansion and development of programs, modeled after Mexico, we can continue to decrease malnutrition globally. Mexico looks forward to collaborating to create a plan of action to help suffering children worldwide.
- Lily Somers