5-speed listening (Malnutrition - Level 6)

Malnutrition goals in Africa 'very far away'



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A new report shows that no country in Africa will meet goals set to end childhood malnutrition by the year 2030. That target was set by the United Nations in 2015 as a Sustainable Development Goal. The UN adopted a set of goals, "to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda". The new report is published in the journal Nature. It identifies poor child nutrition and low levels of education across 51 African countries. These were key factors in countries battling to provide children with sufficient food. Researcher Simon Hay said the goal of ending childhood malnutrition was always an "aspirational" target. He said: "This aspiration is very, very far away."

There was some good news in the report. It highlighted the fact that many African nations, including Ghana and Nigeria, have shown signs of improvement in childhood development since the year 2000. However, it is a different story for countries like Chad, Central African Republic and Eritrea. The report indicates that malnutrition remained "persistently high" in 14 countries between Senegal in the west and Somalia in the east. Many of these countries have experienced war, famine and mass migration, all of which have put massive strains on health and agriculture. One researcher said considerable investment was needed in health and infrastructure in order to address "serious inequalities".

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