Malnutrition affects every stage of life and has severe consequences that can impact families and communities for generations. Malnourished women are more likely to die in childbirth and have babies with low birth weights. And their babies are more vulnerable to disease and death.
Because of widespread malnutrition, Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique continue to have some of the highest child mortality rates in the world. Under-nourishment during the first critical years of life reduces a child’s chance of survival and directly affects brain development. Chronically malnourished children suffer lifelong consequences in cognitive ability, school performance, and future earnings, limiting the development potential of nations. Addressing malnutrition now could bring economic benefits over 100 times as large as the cost of interventions.