Assessment of the Nutritional Impact of Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan's Food for Education 2010 Program
Undernutrition is a major public health problem, contributing to 33% of deaths in infants and young children globally. In Kygryzstan, Central Asia, Mercy Corps provided 6 metric tons of rice, flour and oil as well as nutrition education to kindergartens in 40 rural regions, serving 41,000 children, for one year. Anthropometric measurements were collected at the beginning and end of the program (10 months later). Children, who were stunted, wasted and underweight at baseline, recovered by follow-up, with rates of recovery of 50%, 65% and 50%, respectively. The prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight in the population decreased from 13.8%, 3.4% and 3.2%, respectively, to 8.6%, 2.1% and 2.3%, respectively. These results are particularly significant as the dearth of research on pre-school feeding’s impact on growth and nutrition has led to this particular intervention being deemed ineffective for improvement of nutritional outcome.