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Malnutrition (Eritrea And Malawi)

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on levels of malnutrition in (a) Eritrea and (b) Malawi. [102747]


In a joint UN/Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission (ERREC) briefing on 20 February global acute malnutrition rates in children under five were quoted as between 15 and 28 per cent. in the later half of 2002. The prevalence rate of severe acute malnutrition among children in Northern and Southern Red Sea Zones was quoted as 4 per cent.


The next round of nutritional surveys will be in April. Those conducted in November 2002 showed global acute malnutrition rates ranging from 1.5 per cent. to 4.8 per cent. These are relatively low and within the normal rates for developing countries. However, chronic malnutrition (a combination of the effect of food shortages, recurrent infections and poor care practices) remains serious. A comprehensive analysis of underlying causes is being conducted.