Ecuador: Chronic malnutrition stalks many poor children
Government officials in Ecuador warn child malnutrition is chronic among the country’s 18 million citizens.
After Guatemala, Ecuador has Latin America's second-highest rate of chronic child malnutrition. One in three Ecuadorian children is malnourished, according to the United Nations Children's Fund.
40.7% of malnourished Ecuadorian children are Indigenous. It is worth noting that indigenous people make up only 7% of the population. Learning is impacted in little over a quarter of malnourished cases.
A family educator with the Ministry of Social Inclusion, Monica Cabrera, told The Independent that the poorest in the city are mostly indigenous migrants from rustic areas.
“Those who have more have the luxury of eating twice a day,” she said.
The pandemic made it difficult for 50% of Ecuadorian households with children to buy food in 2021, as per UNICEF's most recent report.
As a result, the agency reports that the development of 27% of children was hampered by chronic malnutrition.
It is also worth noting that 72.3% of children lack essential services for their development, such as health and education, not to mention a shortage or scarcity of food, UNICEF reported.
Conservative former banker President Guillermo Lasso's administration has recently vowed to invest $350 million annually to enhance family, health, education, and counseling services in an effort to battle chronic malnutrition.
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