14 February 2012 Last updated at 19:37 ETFood price rises could undo work reducing child deaths, Save the Children warns
A year of record food prices has forced millions of parents in the developing world to cut back on food for their children, says aid agency Save the Children.
The agency surveyed families in India, Bangladesh, Peru, Pakistan and Nigeria.
One parent in six said their children were abandoning school to help out by working for food.
The agency said the price hikes had worsened child malnutrition and could hit progress reducing child deaths.
It warned that if no action was taken, half a billion children would be physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years.
The survey was carried out in the five countries - where, Save the Children says, half the world's malnourished children live - by international polling agency Globescan.
It found nearly a quarter of a billion parents had cut back on food for the family in the past year. A third of parents surveyed said their children complained about not having enough to eat, the agency said.
One in six said their children were missing school in order to work to buy food, the agency revealed in its report A Life Free From Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition.
"The world has made dramatic progress in reducing child deaths, down from 12 to 7.6 million, but this momentum will stall if we fail to tackle malnutrition," said Save the Children chief executive Justin Forsyth.
The agency wants the UK to lead the way in reducing hunger and protecting children from food price rises - starting with a Hunger Summit when world leaders are in London for the Olympics.
Article Source : BBC News
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