Press Release

SAARC – UNICEF Regional Conference on Scaling-up Care for Children with Severe Wasting in South Asia concludes


A Regional Conference on Scaling-up Care for Children with Severe Wasting in South Asia on the theme “Stop Stunting, No Time to Waste” concluded in Kathmandu yesterday.


The three-day Conference, jointly organized by SAARC and UNICEF, was attended by government officials, researchers/academicians and representatives of civil society, development partners and United Nations organizations.


The Conference, inaugurated by Honourable Gagan Kumar Thapa, Minister of Health of Nepal is a follow-up to the South Asia Action Framework on Nutrition, which was developed by SAARC and launched in Kathmandu during the Eighteenth SAARC Summit in November 2014.


The Conference provided participants the opportunity to understand the situation of acute malnutrition in South Asia and share best practices in terms of care for severely wasted children. Participants had extensive discussions on ways to position the care of children with severe wasting on national and regional agenda.


The outcome of the Conference in the form of “Ten Key Messages” calls for stunting and wasting to be addressed with more urgency, to prioritize prevention of both stunting and wasting and to treat severe wasting when prevention fails. It also emphasizes the role of community-based platforms in providing early care.


H.E. Mr. Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Secretary General of SAARC addressed the participants both at the Opening and the Closing Sessions of the Conference. He thanked UNICEF ROSA for its support and collaboration. He re-iterated that child nutrition will continue to remain as an important facet of SAARC’s collaboration with UNICEF in their collective efforts to make South Asia a place where every child grows up to their full potential in a healthy and safe environment.



Kathmandu, 19 May 2017