Regional Progress

Governments, organisations and individuals are working around the world to treat and prevent malnutrition. Find out what is happening in these pages.

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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the region with the highest rates of child mortality. One in every 6 children dies before their fifth birthday.

The total number of underweight children actually increased in this region since 1990.

“In 2006, 49% of all deaths of children under 5 years occurred in Sub-Saharan Africa, in spite of the fact that only 22% of the world’s children are born there.” (State of the World’s Children 2008, UNICEF, 2007)

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South and Southeast Asia

Progress is being made in the reduction of under 5 child mortality in South and South East Asia. However, South Asia is still the region with the second highest rate of under 5 deaths in the world, making up 32% of the global total.

South Asia also has by far the highest levels of undernutrition in the world.

“In 1990, 1 in every 8 South Asian children died before age 5; by 2006, the ratio had decreased to 1 in 12.” (State of the World’s Children 2008, UNICEF, 2007)

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Latin America

Latin America has reduced underweight prevalence by an average of 3.8 per cent every year between 1990 and 2004, faster than any other region. Latin America has the lowest under five child mortality rate in the developing world. However, children in the region still face serious nutritional problems due to severe disparities.

“Some of the largest disparities in the regions of the developing world are found in Latin America…Children living in the poorest households are 3.6 times as likely to be underweight as children living in the richest households” (Progress for children: a report card on nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)

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