New Delhi, April 26 - Nearly 20 percent of children in the country suffer from acute malnutrition, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath informed the Lok sabha Friday.
The minister was citing statistics from the National Family Health Survey-3, 2005-06 which showed that the percentage of acutely malnourished children under five years is 19.8 percent.
The problem of malnutrition is complex, multi-dimensional and inter-generational in nature, and cannot be improved by a single sector alone, she said.
Tirath said: The approach to deal with the nutrition challenges has been two pronged. First is the multi-sectoral approach for accelerated action on the determinants of malnutrition in targeting nutrition in schemes or programmes of all the sectors.
The second approach is the direct and specific interventions targeted towards the vulnerable groups such as children below six years, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating mothers.
Government has given top priority to addressing the huge problem of malnutrition. The Prime Minister's National Council on India's Nutrition Challenges was constituted in 2008 for policy direction, review and effective coordination between ministries for tackling malnutrition.