Major Rally To Be Held In London’s Hyde Park Ahead Of Nutrition Summit

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Nelson Mandela’s wife, Graça Machel, will speak at a major rally in [London’s] Hyde Park this weekend as part of a campaign to end child malnutrition,” The Guardian reports. “The Hyde Park event coincides with David Cameron’s hosting of a Nutrition for Growth summit on Saturday and attended by the Malawian president, Joyce Banda,” the newspaper adds (Wintour, 6/6). The event will “bring together business leaders, scientists, governments and civil society to make the political and financial commitments needed to prevent undernutrition, enabling people and nations to prosper,” according to a press release from the U.K.’s Department for International Development (6/5). “Some 165 million children worldwide are stunted by malnutrition as babies and face a future of ill health, poor education, low earnings and poverty, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] said on Friday,” Reuters notes (Kelland, 6/7).

“Meanwhile, [The Lancet] has reported [in a series published Thursday] that malnutrition is responsible for the deaths of 3.1 million children each year or 45 percent of all deaths of children under five years of age,” the U.N. News Centre writes, noting, “The figure is higher than the journal’s last estimates in 2008” (6/6). “The findings suggest that addressing the problem means addressing the underlying causes of malnutrition, such as, ‘poverty, food insecurity, poor education, and gender inequity,'” Inter Press Service adds (6/6). “Malnutrition — which includes being overweight or obese as well as under-nourished — also has an economic impact,” BBC News notes, highlighting a recent United Nations report that found “malnutrition is estimated to cost the world $3.5 trillion (£2.3 trillion) — or $500 for every person — in health care and lost productivity” (Briggs, 6/5). PRI’s “The World” examines a study in the Lancet series that “outlines 10 key nutrition interventions that could save the lives of almost a million children a year” (Thomson, 6/6).

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