2018 Global Nutrition Report: Malnutrition Unacceptably High

NEW YORK – The 2018 Global Nutrition Report was released on Thursday, November 29th – and it is not good news.The report measures the progress being made to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number Two: Zero Hunger by 2030. The SDG initiative is, in part, to “end hunger and ensure access by all people . . . to safe, nutritious food all year round . . . [and] to end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets of stunting and wasting in children under five years of age” and seven other components.

The 2018 Global Nutrition Report was released on Thursday, November 29. And it is not good news.

Unfortunately, as previously noted, the report highlights a situation of compounding malnutrition from which no country is untouched.

It’s not just that we’re seeing different forms of malnutrition, it’s that every country in the world is affected. So, this is not just a problem that affects the poorest countries in the world. It affects everyone. When you start to pull together all those different forms of malnutrition, irrespective of wealth, every country has a problem.

According to the report no country is on track to meet all nine of the SDG 2 targets for either 2030 or 2025. Only five countries are in a position to meet a total of four targets – which is the most progress any countries have made. One hundred countries are not likely to reach any of the goals.

The Executive Summary of the report redresses the international community, saying that the burden of malnutrition across the world remains unacceptably high, and progress unacceptably slow, citing that malnutrition is a universal issue with unacceptable human consequences.

In addition, the report claims that malnutrition is responsible for more ill health than any other cause.


Nearly 151 million children under that age of five suffer from stunting.[1] The number of stunted children in Africa has increased from 50.6 million to 58.7 million. South Asia has the greatest percentage of stunted children, just shy of 39% of the world’s population under the age of five.

50.5 million children under the age of five are suffering from wasting.[2] South Asia is home to 26.9 million of these children. The mortality rate for children under five is particularly elevated among children who suffer from both stunting and wasting.

20 million new-born babies have low birth weights, a result of malnutrition in their mothers.


If current trajectories continue, more than 660 million people (8% of the world) will still be undernourished in 2030. Meanwhile, more than 100 million children under five years of age (15%) will be stunted, more than 40 million (6%) will be wasted.

On a global percentage basis, if the current trend continues, by 2030 cases of stunting will be 56% short of the 100% goal. Cases of wasting will miss the goal by 66% and the goal of eradicating malnutrition will miss the target by 76%

Bottom line: “The human consequences of these shortfalls are considerable.”


Nonetheless, Christian organizations around the world will continue to minister to those in need as the Lord provides us the opportunity. Please pray for Gospel for Asia and all believers who are reaching out to “the least of these.”

To read more news on malnutrition on Missions Box, go here.

[1] Children aged 0–59 months who are less than -2 standard deviations (SD) from median height-for-age of the WHO Child Growth Standards – a marker for chronic malnutrition.

[2] Children aged 0–59 months who are less than -2 SD from median weight-for-height of the WHO Child Growth Standards – a marker for acute malnutrition.


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