Save The Children has organised a global nutrition summit in London
Some of the world’s best-known children’s authors have warned malnutrition is permanently damaging children’s brains leaving them struggling to read or write.
Over 25 of world’s best-loved
children’s authors and illustrators have called on G8 leaders to step up their efforts to tackle hunger around the world.
The campaign comes just ten days before a global nutrition summit in London and references Save the Children’s latest research, which shows that chronically malnourished children are 20 percent less literate than those with a healthier diet, and less able to read or write a simple sentence.
The research, included in the charities latest report Food for Thought, shows for the first time the extent to which a child’s brain can be permanently damaged if they do not receive the right nutrition in the first 1000 days of their life.
Julia Donaldson, the Children’s Laureate and author of bestselling book The Gruffalo, said: \"The devastating impact of malnutrition shouldn’t be underestimated. It stunts a child’s development, sapping the strength of their minds as well of their body, depriving them of the chance to be able to read or write a simple sentence.
\"Leaders attending this summit have a golden opportunity to stop this. They must invest more funding to tackle malnutrition if we are to stop a global literacy famine.\"
World leaders are gathering on the June 8 at a global summit on nutrition hosted by David Cameron where they could provide the necessary funding to transform the lives of millions of children affected by malnutrition.
Despite being one of the most cost effective forms of development assistance, spending on nutrition programmes currently amounts to just 0.3 percent of global development spending.
Save the Children Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said: \"No child should be so badly malnourished that they are left permanently damaged, struggling to read or write a simple sentence.
\"We have made huge progress tackling child mortality globally, but hunger is an Achilles heel and threatens to drag back progress. World leaders attending the summit must step up to tackle hunger.\"
On the day of the nutrition summit, tens of thousands of people are expected to attend a mass rally in Hyde Park as part of anti-hunger campaign Enough Food for Everyone IF.