Malnutrition of Kids in Afghanistan at 'Shocking' Levels

Poor families and poor education stoking problem in the south
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2012 7:40 PM CDT
Updated Sep 5, 2012 8:40 PM CDT

(Newser) – Nearly a million children in southern Afghanistan—or 1 in 3—are severely malnourished, says a new UN-backed survey. It's not the food supply, which is adequate. A big part of the problem is that many poor parents lack fundamental knowledge about nutrition, reports the Guardian. Breast feeding, for instance, is frowned upon in the region. Instead, infants get tea or water, or formula that is either too diluted or made with dirty water.

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"What's shocking is that this is really very high by global standards," says the deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. "This is the kind of malnutrition you associate with Africa and some of the most deprived parts of the world, not with an area that has received so much international attention and assistance." (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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