Nutrition :: $46 Million to improve nutrition of infants, young children in developing nations

The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a $46 million award to the nonprofit (PATH) to improve nutrition of infants and young children in developing nations by promoting breastfeeding, complementary feeding practices and maternal nutrition.

For millions of children, damage from hunger and malnutrition can cause death or disabilities that last a lifetime. Almost all nutritional deficiencies impair immune function and other host defenses leading to a cycle of longer-lasting and more severe infections and ever-worsening nutritional status.

The period from birth to two years of age is particularly important because of the rapid growth and brain development that occurs during this time. In developing nations, the period is often marked poor nutrition that leads to impeded growth, micronutrient deficiencies, and common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, as children transition from breastfeeding to solid foods.

“Improving nutritional intake in young children has long-lasting health effects, and leads to improved nutrition and physical growth, reduced susceptibility to common childhood infections and better resistance to cope with them,” said Richard Greene, Director of the Office of Health, Infectious Disease and Nutrition at USAID.

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