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9.27 lakh severely acute malnourished children in the country: Govt

Visitors taking part in a signature campaign as part of Poshan Abhiyaan campaign in Salem, Tamil Nadu. File photo   | Photo Credit: E. LAKSHMINARAYANAN

A total of 9.27 lakh severely acute malnourished children between the age of six months and six years have been identified in the country till November 2020, the government told Parliament.

Also read: Centre pushes AYUSH to combat malnutrition

Over 40% of such children were found in Uttar Pradesh alone.

"As per ICDS-RRS (Rapid Reporting System) Portal, as on 30th November, 2020, 9,27,606 severely acute malnourished (SAM) children (6 months - 6 years) have been identified in the country, out of which 3,98,359 are from the State of Uttar Pradesh," Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani told Rajya Sabha in response to a question.

Despite the staggering numbers more than 40% of funds released to State governments since the launch of Poshan Abhiyaan in 2017 remains unutilised, government data shows.

While ₹5,312.79 crores have been released to States and UTs from 2017-18 to 2020-21, only 56% of the funds ₹2,985.56 crores have been utilised upto 31st March, 2021.

The government launched POSHAN Abhiyaan (Nutrition Mission) in March, 2018, with an objective to reduce malnutrition in the country and achieve improvement in nutritional status of children in the age group of 0-6 years.

The Mission aims to reduce stunting, underweight, and low birth weight, each by 2% per year; and anaemia among young children, adolescents and women each by 3% per year until 2022. The government has also announced Mission Poshan 2.0 during the Budget 2021-2022, which has been approved for 5 years - from 2021-2022 to 2025-2026.

A NITI Aayog drafted last year before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic warned that there is a need to step up efforts to achieve the targets laid down under the POSHAN Abhiyaan.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 3:04:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/927-lakh-severely-acute-malnourished-children-in-the-country-govt/article35619948.ece

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