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CIHD hosts child development forum

26 January 2007

On Thursday, 25th January the Centre for International Health and Development hosted a forum on the Lancet series on early child development in developing countries. 

Sally McGregor chaired the Steering Group on International Child Development that organized the writing of a series of the three papers on child development in developing countries. UNICEF assisted in funding the meeting.

Around 140 people including academics and representatives from WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, UNESCO, Bernard Van Leer and Aga Khan Foundation and many of the larger NGOs involved with children attended.

Authors of the series explained that over 200 million children under five years are not developing to their potential due to poverty, poor health and nutrition. The main causes for poor development with good evidence were moderate undernutrition, iodine and iron deficiency and poor home stimulation. Although effective interventions are available, coverage is low especially in areas of greatest need.

Representatives from WHO, UNICEF and World Bank expressed a strong commitment to strengthening early childhood programmes and research.

The Steering Group will become the International Child Development Committee and will be joined by representatives from UNICEF, World Bank and WHO. It will meet in two years time to evaluate progress.

Read the BBC's report.