Hunger and Learning

Hunger and Learning - World Hunger Series World Hunger...

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Unformatted text preview: World Hunger Series World Hunger Series Hunger and Learning The World Hunger Series (WHS) is an annual publication from the United Nations World Food Program. It is aimed at policymakers in developing and developed countries. The focus of the WHS is to present practical measures that can be taken to end world hunger. What is the World Hunger What is the World Hunger Series? Hunger­ a condition in which people lack the required nutrients (protein, energy, and vitamins and minerals) for fully productive, active and healthy lives. Each report in the series examines an issue related to hunger – such as learning, health, markets, trade, crises, and social exclusion. May be short term or long term May be mild to severe/clinical May result from not taking nutrients or because of an absorption problem Hunger and Learning Hunger and Learning Hunger can have devastating effects on human development. The capacity for learning is severely inhibited by hunger. Hunger in childhood can lead to irreversible mental stunting, lower intelligence quotients (IQs), and reduced capacities to learn. It is estimated that the average IQs of the populations in over 60 developing countries are 10–15 points lower than they could be, because of iodine deficiencies alone. Hunger and learning have an important two­way relationship. Hunger impairs learning at each stage of life; yet learning is an effective means of addressing hunger. Hunger’s Impact on Learning Hunger’s Impact on Learning Understanding the relationship between hunger and learning requires a long­term perspective: what happens at one stage of life affects later stages, and what happens in one generation affects the next. Nutrition during pregnancy and the first 2 years of life strongly influences future mental capacity. Hunger keeps children out of school and limits their ability to concentrate once there. Hungry adults are not able to take advantage of learning opportunities and therefore transmit hunger to the next generation. Hunger and Development Hunger and Development The effects of hunger Each year undernutrition contributes to the deaths of nearly 6 million young children Death, physical stunting, and mental retardation Undernutrition is the clinical form of hunger that results from serious deficiencies in one or more nutrients (protein, energy, and vitamins and minerals). Hunger narrows the opportunities available to individuals and retards human development. When aggregated over large segments of the population, hunger greatly hinders the economic progress of nations. A smaller physical stature may lead to discrimination in employment for manual labor Decreased mental capacity may limit ability to analyze situations Learning’s Impact on Hunger Learning’s Impact on Hunger At each stage of life, learning can contribute to the fight against hunger. Stimulation builds the basic capacity to learn in the future. Involves techniques such as play, conversation & exposure to colors or shapes. Lays the foundation for future cognitive development Schooling allows children to acquire the skills necessary to address hunger at this stage of life and in the future. Practical Interventions Practical Interventions Interventions can be identified to address each of these problems, reversing the cycle of hunger and reduced learning Interventions can be performed at various stages in the lifecycle EarlyChildhood School Age Adulthood Steps Required to Implement Effective Strategies 1. Situation Analysis National level­ assess current conditions related to hunger and learning in the country determining where hunger and inadequate learning exist or will exist International level­ progress towards Millennium Development Goal 1 can be used to identify countries that need particular assistance The Way Forward The Way Forward 2. Strategy Formulation There are several principles for developing effective strategies. Take a lifecycle approach, but priority should be given to early interventions. Have clear objectives, sequencing programs, scaling them up, and looking at them in the broader context At the international level intervention strategies can be tailored for low, medium and high need countries The Way Forward 3. Resource Mobilization Funding needed from national & international level. Domestic governments must take the lead in funding efforts to address hunger and learning. 4. Implementation National level implementation involves identifying key partners, developing an institutional framework, creating an action plan, and learning from past experiences. At the international level, a global partnership is required. 5. Monitoring & Accountability key to assessing the effectiveness, efficiency & relevance of the strategy — & to making any needed changes in approach. Both national governments and the international community need to be involved Key Messages Key Messages Hungry children must be reached as early as possible: hunger has its most damaging & long­lasting impacts on learning when it occurs in early childhood & to a lesser extent, at school age To be sustainable, targeted interventions in nutrition & learning are needed at appropriate points throughout life, creating a cycle of good nutrition & learning through the generations. There are challenges to implementing these programs, but solutions can be found in the positive experiences of many countries. National governments must take the lead, but they require the full support of the international community. In the end, the decision to act is political. ...
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