Medical Research Council
World Health Organization
Health Systems Trust
2011-2012 Education Sector HIV and AIDS: Global Progress Survey- Progression, Regression or Stagnation?UNAIDS
State of the World’s Mothers 2012: Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days
Every year, our State of the World’s Mothers report reminds us of the inextricable link between the well-being of mothers and their children. More than 90 years of experience on the ground have shown us that when mothers have health care, education and economic opportunity, both they and their children have the best chance to survive and thrive.
But many are not so fortunate. Alarming numbers of mothers and children in developing countries are not getting the nutrition they need. For mothers, this means less strength and energy for the vitally important activities of daily life. It also means increased risk of death or giving birth to a pre-term, underweight or malnourished infant. For young children, poor nutrition in the early years often means irreversible damage to bodies and minds during the time when both are developing rapidly. And for 2.6 million children each year, hunger kills, with malnutrition leading to death.
This report looks at the critical 1,000-day window of time from the start of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday. It highlights proven, low-cost nutrition solutions – like exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months – that can make the difference between life and death for children in developing countries. It shows how millions of lives can be saved – and whole countries can be bolstered economically – if governments and private donors invest in these basic solutions. As Administrator Shah states persuasively in the Foreword to this report, the economic argument for early nutrition is very strong – the cost to a nation's GDP is significant when kids go hungry early in life.