Common Wealth or Common Hunger? Malnutrition and its impact on child survival in the Commonwealth

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Save the Children

More than 82 million children are underweight in Commonwealth countries according to Save the Children’s report ‘Common Wealth or Common Hunger’, which says that if these children are ever to stand a fair chance of survival, its leaders must urgently work together toward reducing the burden of child hunger. The report states that 64 per cent of the world’s underweight children live in Commonwealth countries and India has both the highest number and the highest proportion of underweight children. Commonwealth leaders should use child malnutrition indicators as a key measure of the progress of the Commonwealth as a whole as it gives a clear picture of how well a society is performing alongside other indicators such as economic growth. In 2000, all Commonwealth Governments committed to halving hunger and malnutrition by 2015 (MDG1). India is one of seven Commonwealth countries not showing adequate progress on MDG 1, achieving just 0.9 per cent progress, not enough to get anywhere near reaching the MDG 1 target by 2015. Among the Commonwealth countries making significant strides towards meeting the target are Sri Lanka, Ghana, Mozambique and Botswana. This report by Save the Children India is a contribution to the global Save the Children EVERY ONE campaign, and was made possible thanks to the support of the UK Department for International Development.

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