World Health Organization
Infant and Child Malnutrition
The People’s Republic of China
Forest Hills Eastern High School
Inaction on malnutrition carries a colossal cost. Every year, almost half of child deaths under age five are attributable to undernutrition. One quarter of all children around the world, 159 million, are stunted – meaning that their bodies and brains have not grown to their full potential. With stunted growth, children also have the consequence of insurmountable inequality; they have a major disadvantage in learning and acquiring life skills before they even set foot in school. Yet, despite the alarming effects of malnutrition on a child and an infant, countries continue to underinvest in nutrition. According to the World Health Organization, developing countries on average devote just one half of one percent of their health budgets to nutrition. In order to combat the problem, the United Nation has laid out recommendations for nutritious and affordable diets for children across the world including empowering families to reduce demand for unhealthy food and incentivizing food suppliers to provide healthy, affordable food. Proclaimed in 2016, the UN also created the Decade of Action to promote cooperation with various member states in order to craft specific solutions that address nutrition crisis over the next 10 years.
The People’s Republic of China is vulnerable to the double burden of malnutrition and leads the way in its multi-sectoral strategy in combating all forms of malnutrition. Rather than focusing on the quantity of food production, the People’s Republic of China has improved on children’s health and growth over the last few decades that focuses on the quality of food production. The People’s Republic of China has also created the goal of a “Healthy China 2030” with ‘health-in-all-policies’ approach and a National Nutrition Plan: a layout of malnutrition points targeting obesity, anemia, and folic acid deficiency among poor people close to poverty. 600 rural Chinese schools also provide daily nutritional supplements to students during lunch. By lifting millions out of hunger, the People’s Republic of China met its Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of hungry people by 2015 and reduced the global hunger rate by two thirds. Not only is the People’s Republic of China fighting the problem in its own country; the People’s Republic of China is also helping other countries. Recently, the People’s Republic of China sent health experts to train young African researchers in agricultural science and encouraged African entrepreneurship in agribusiness. The People’s Republic of China also provides agricultural assistance programs across Africa and supporting emergency humanitarian food assistance programs around the globe.
First, the People’s Republic of China recommends that the United Nations establish and release education guidelines on good feeding techniques and getting the right nutrients to the mother and child from the beginning of pregnancy. Second, the People’s Republic of China urges the United Nations—through the World Bank—devote funding for daily nutritional supplements that can be sent to rural schools where poverty stricken students attend. Due to the cost of nutritious foods, students in rural schools lack nutritious foods the most; they also need them the most. Third, the People’s Republic of China proposes that the United Nations encourage the growth of entrepreneurship in agribusiness. People receive their food from these companies, and therefore need the best quality of food. In order for people to purchase these foods more easily, more companies need to open up on all continents – especially Africa. Through this program, the People’s Republic of China believes that the United Nations should emphasize the quality of food rather than the quantity to upcoming entrepreneurs. This will provide food with more vitamins and nutrients rather than high fructose corn syrup with no value. If the United Nations implement these recommendations into their resolutions, other countries could reduce their global hunger rate by two thirds just like the People’s Republic of China.
- Mia Tepic