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999: The human face of economic crisis
Date:9/21/2009

regate Shocks, Poor Households and Children. He explains that some 219 million children in the world under five fail to reach their full potential in cognitive development due to poverty, poor health and nutrition, and deficient care.

The human development gap has a high price: if these children developed to their full potential as adults, their average incomes would be around 20 percent higher. Mendoza's paper maps the different channels through which the effects of the economic crisis, plus volatile food and fuel prices, may be transmitted to the developing world. He warns that this series of 'shocks' can create poverty that lasts for generations.

A further paper in this issue, Effects of the Crises on Child Nutrition and Health in East Asia and the Pacific, gives more detailed evidence of the serious risks that the current food, fuel, economic and financial crisis pose to child health and nutrition in the region. The authors use information on nutrition status, reportable diseases, immunization status and child mortality to estimate the impact of the current crisis. Left unaddressed, the crisis could lead to increases in maternal anaemia rates of 10-20 percent and low birth weight prevalence by 5-10 percent. What is more, childhood stunting could rise by 3-7 percent, wasting by 8-16 percent and under-five child mortality in severely affected countries from 3-11 percent. A range of low-cost and high-impact interventions exist that, if delivered in primary care settings without further delay, could mitigate or even reverse these adverse health and nutrition consequences.

"The views, evidence, arguments, and policy proposals provided in this series of papers serve as a clarion call for further discussion, debate, and action," writes Guest Editor Mahesh Patel. Amidst the overwhelming media coverage of stock market crashes and bank bailouts as this ferocious financial crisis continues, the impact on children must not be overlooked.


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Contact: Mithu Mukherjee
mithu.mukherjee@sagepub.co.uk
44-207-324-2223
SAGE Publications UK
Source:Eurekalert

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