In September, world leaders gathered in New York for the World Summit of the United Nations, to assess the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce hunger, poverty and disease worldwide by 2015. Undernutrition contributes 53% to mortality among children under five, and is directly related to MDG 4, which aims to reduce the mortality rate by two-thirds. More than 150 million children in the developing world are underweight due to malnutrition. East Asia has made progress and reduced the number of malnourished children from 24 to 10 million. In sub-Saharan Africa however, the situation has become worse: the number of underweight children increased from 29 to 37 million between 1990 and 2003.In his address to the world leaders the US President gave a committment to the Millennium Development Goals. This was the first mention of the MDGs by the president of the world’s largest economy, and is hence, with the committment to the Monterrey Consensus (target of 0.7% of GDP as development assistance), an important signal towards achieving the MDGs.
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