(October 2015) Each year, undernutrition contributes to the deaths of more than 3 million children under the age of 5—or about one out of every two child deaths. In addition, globally, more than 160 million children under 5 are stunted. Stunting means that a child is shorter than normal for his or her age. Stunting happens over time, and can be caused by inadequate maternal nutrition, poor feeding practices, or substandard food quality as well as frequent infections, which can slow down growth. Ultimately, a stunted child is unlikely to ever reach his or her full potential.

PRB has created the multimedia presentation Malnutrition: Meeting the Global Challenge aimed at engaging global audiences. The presentation is designed to present the current global nutrition situation, the state of progress in achieving the World Health Assembly’s nutrition targets, and the challenges ahead. Other key goals of the presentation are to increase understanding about malnutrition in adolescents, women, and children (conception to 24 months); promote policy dialogue on the individual, health, and economic benefits of reducing malnutrition; and present nutrition investments as cost-effective, high-yield interventions. The presentation also illustrates why proper nutrition for women and children is so important, especially in the first 1,000 day period—from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s 2 birthday. This period represents a critical window of opportunity to avert malnutrition and gives children the best chance to grow, learn, and rise out of poverty.

The chief purpose of this innovative tool is to strengthen support for nutrition as a priority health and development issue on global and national-level policy agendas. The presentation can be used to educate, raise awareness about the consequences of a failure to act, foster policy dialogue, and to mobilize political commitment and resources. Target audiences include high-level government policymakers (parliamentarians, governors), program officials, nongovernmental organizations, religious leaders, journalists, academics, community leaders, donors, and others.

Funding for this presentation and advocacy materials was generously provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under RENEW (Re-energizing Nutrition-Expanding Worldwide), a global initiative that focuses on combating malnutrition in mothers and children (0-24 months) in developing countries. RENEW is designed to raise the visibility of this public health crisis, mobilize commitment and resources, and accelerate the implementation of proven and promising new approaches.

Malnutrition: Meeting the Global Challenge is available with and without a voiceover, in English. The presentation can be downloaded from the PRB website or streamed via PRB's YouTube channel in English; USB drives are also available upon request. A presentation guide is available to provide facilitators with skills and resources to effectively deliver and lead discussion about the presentation.


For more information about or to request a copy of the presentation and materials, please contact Rhonda Smith, 202-939-5427.