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MDGs a Distant Dream for Nepali Children

KATHMANDU, Dec 16 2012 (IPS) - Currently classified as one of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Nepal has one of the highest malnutrition rates globally, with over 41 percent of children suffering from chronic under-nourishment, particularly in rural areas.

As part of its efforts to support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the LDCs, the European Union has pledged millions to help eradicate malnutrition, which is widely acknowledged to be a major hurdle to development.

Last year, the EU funneled 20 million euros into a UNICEF programme designed to tackle the problem in five Asian countries.

Of this, 3.2 million euros went directly to Nepal “to support a comprehensive package of measures to prevent and address malnutrition in the country where … approximately 1.7 million children, or nearly half of all children aged under-five in the country, are stunted or suffer from chronic malnutrition”, according to an EU-UNICEF press release.

A year later, the crisis is still severe and development experts fear the country will not meet the MDG target of reducing child mortality by two thirds by 2015.

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