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Generation Nutrition - If We Act Now, We Can End Child Deaths From Hunger in Our Lifetime

24/04/2014 17:07 BST | Updated 24/06/2014 10:59 BST

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Imagine what it's like to watch your child die simply because you can't give them enough nutritious food to eat, or clean water to drink.

For the parents of over a one million children around the world every year this is a horrifying reality. For those children who survive, the damage caused by poor nutrition is serious and often irreversible, stopping children from reaching their full potential.

Worldwide 52million children - one in every 12 alive today - suffers from acute malnutrition. The majority of the children affected, over 90%, are found in South and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't just happen because of conflict or natural disaster. Most children suffering from acute malnutrition can be found in the quiet villages and bustling cities of stable countries like India and Kenya. This is an everyday emergency.

In a world of plentiful resources acute malnutrition is a scandal that is entirely predictable, preventable and treatable. For the first time in history, we know we can win the fight against deadly child hunger.

We know how to treat acutely malnourished children so they survive and recover, and we know how to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place. In as little as six weeks, a child can be back up on their feet again, with their whole life ahead of them. What is needed now is the political will to end this silent killer.

Action Against Hunger UK has joined forces with leading international humanitarian and development NGOs to publish launch a new global campaign, 'Generation Nutrition', to put an end to the outrage of child deaths from acute malnutrition.

In a report published this week, 'Generation Nutrition' reveals a ten-point plan for how we can be the generation to end children dying from hunger. The plan includes measures such as funding the spread of proven, cost-effective, community treatments; making sure malnutrition doesn't happen in the first place by implementing policies that support poorer families getting the food and basic services they need, and getting world leaders to agree to make ending child malnutrition a top priority.

We believe world leaders must agree a global target to reduce the number of children under five suffering from acute malnutrition by millions every year and to ensure that the post-2015 development framework that replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) prioritises ending child malnutrition.

We've launched a petition calling for urgent action to end child deaths from hunger which we will be presenting to world leaders when they meet at the United Nations in September this year.

We know that if we can make governments change the way they set their priorities, children's lives will be saved. We need to ensure that the issue of acute malnutrition doesn't only hit the headlines when natural disasters strike or when war erupts.

Together, let's demand action to stop the senseless waste of lives and of futures cut short before they've begun. If we act now, we can be the generation that ends child deaths from hunger, forever.

The 'Generation Nutrition' petition is available to sign here: generation-nutrition.org

The 'Generation Nutrition' coalition is made up of the following organisations: Action Against Hunger | ACF International , AMREF, CARE France, CMAM Forum, End Water Poverty, ENN, Global Health Advocates, GRACE Africa, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief Kenya, KAIN, KANCO, Malaria Consortium, Mercy USA Kenya. Population Services Kenya, PU-AMI, Results UK, Secours Islamique France, Solidarités International, TargetTB, WaterAid