FACTBOX: Key facts on child malnutrition in Latin America

by Anastasia Moloney | @anastasiabogota | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 15 October 2009 13:52 GMT

BOGOTA (AlertNet)- Over nine million children under five in Latin America suffer from chronic malnutrition.

The problem is particularly prevalent in Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, where malnutrition is a leading public health concern and is as widespread as it is in Africa or South Asia.

Here are some facts on child malnutrition in Latin America:

* Almost half of Guatemala's children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition, the highest rate in Latin America and the fourth highest in the world.

* Sixteen percent of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition in Latin America, compared with 38 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

* Chile has the lowest rate of child malnutrition in Latin America, with just 1 percent of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition.

* Brazil, Chile, Mexico have made the most progress in reducing child malnutrition rates since 1970.

* Cuba, Jamaica, Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago all have chronic malnutrition rates below five per cent.

* Belize has shown "no progress" so far in meeting a U.N. Millennium Development Goal aiming to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by half between 1990 and 2015. Guyana and Haiti have made "insufficient' progress".

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