Speaking in the European Parliament, Brian Hayes MEP has called on the EU to tackle the issue of Child Malnutrition head on. Mr Hayes made his comments during a debate on addressing Child Malnutrition in developing countries.
“I believe nutrition, especially in the context of children`s health, should be a key priority in our future development agenda.. In the developing world, approximately 22,000 children die every day. Over 90% of these children live in Africa and Asia.” Said Mr Hayes
“We need to invest in preventing child malnutrition now. The immediate causes of malnutrition revolve around access to nutritious food. The EU needs to work to ensure access to nutritious diets for all. We also need to provide the training and equipment to developing countries to allow them produce their own food, ensuring future food security.”
“Gender discrimination is one of the fundamental drivers of malnutrition. The practice of girls not attending school, restrictions on women earning an income and their inferior role within a household needs to be overcome. Improving women`s role in society, providing access to education and control of resources must also be addressed and will have a positive impact on nutrition knowledge.
“We also must encourage breastfeeding to avoid contaminated water to reduce preventable child deaths. Improving rates of breastfeeding requires better supports and suitable environments for women to breastfeed. Nutrition in the first thousand days from pregnancy to the age of two is a vital time for physical and cognitive development. Malnutrition and the lack of safe water and sanitation contribute to half of all child deaths.”
“Next year is the European Year of Development. Making child malnutrition a priority can make a big difference.” Concluded Mr Hayes