Nepal has made remarkable progress in tackling malnutrition in children impacted by stunting among under-fives. The rate of stunting has fallen from 57 per cent in 2001 to 36 per cent in 2016. However, nutrition remains a persistent public health problem with over a million stunted children. Almost 850,000 children under five (27 per cent) are underweight and over 300,000 (10 per cent) wasted (too thin for their height). Similarly, 1.8 million adolescent girls and boys (32 per cent) are stunted.
Undernutrition contributes to 25,000 child deaths in Nepal per year, accounting for 52 per cent of child deaths, higher than any other cause. Good nutrition is a prerequisite for Nepal to graduate from the Least Developed Countries. Nepal must continue to invest in reducing malnutrition and human capital development focusing on children under five years of age and adolescents in order to be able to develop. Children need to be fit and healthy to learn and be educated.