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Unicef report: Centre sceptical

The Unicef says India is worse than sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to feeding its children.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 02:29 IST

The Unicef says India is worse than sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to feeding its children. But the Union government begs to differ. The Centre disagrees that India is home to the largest population of malnourished children and rebuts Unicef’s charge that the country has not done enough to reach the millennium development goal.  

At a function to release Unicef’s ‘report card on nutrition’, Reva Nayyar, women and child development secretary, said the figures in the report are based on old data, from 1998 to be precise, and do not reflect the true picture. “The situation is much better now, though a lot needs to be done still. I am sure we will see improvement when the latest figures are published,” she contended, adding that these would be available soon.

However, she conceded that a paltry sum is spent on women and child health. “Only 2.5 per cent to 5 per cent of the total budget is for children and most of the money is spend on education. Only about 1 per cent goes towards improving child health and .03 per cent on child protection measures.”

She added that the 11th Five Year Plan, scheduled to commence from the next fiscal, would make budgetary provisions for child nutrition.

Nayyar stressed that the UPA government has admitted problem and allocation to the WCD has almost doubled since 2004.