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Fighting Malnutrition in India

  • June 15, 2009
  • Aid workers often must travel by foot to remote villages to bring help to malnourished children.
  • Americares India, Health Promotion Programs

One quarter of the world’s hungry people live in India. That’s 230 million people – 10 times the population of Texas.

“When people suffer from malnutrition, it makes it harder for them to survive common diseases such as malaria, measles, pneumonia and diarrhea”, says Dr. Purvish Parikh vice president and managing director of AmeriCares India.

“In fact, malnutrition contributes to more than half of the deaths of children under five. Many of those who survive suffer poor growth and development, leaving them physically or mentally impaired for life.”

That’s why AmeriCares India has been working throughout the country to fight malnutrition. From the slums in Mumbai to remote villages in Bihar, nutritional support has been delivered to help some of India’s most vulnerable children.

Working with our local partner, Project Concern International (PCI), AmeriCares recently supplied 240,000 packets of high-energy biscuits to malnourished children living in flood-ravaged Bihar, India.

Many of the children lost their homes in the flood, many of their parents lost their livelihoods. According to PCI, at least half of the children below 14 years of age were malnourished.

One of the greatest challenges in distributing nutritional aid throughout India is the difficulty reaching remote villages which often can’t be reached by car. Our partners have taken the added initiative of carrying these biscuit packets on their heads over long distances to distribute among the children.