Stunting in Nepal: looking back, looking ahead

Madhu Dixit Devkota, Ramesh Kant Adhikari and Senendra Raj Upreti

Nepal has made impressive gains in health and nutrition despite being in a state of political, economic and demographic transition. According to the Nepal Demographic Health Surveys, stunting in Nepal has fallen from 57% in 2001 to 41% in 2011, an annual decline of 1.7 percentage points. A 3.9% annual reduction is, however, required to achieve the global target of 40% fewer stunted children by 2025. The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey conducted in 2014 by the Central Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF indicated a further reduction in the proportion of stunted children to 37.4%.
The recently drafted Sustainable Development Goal for Nepal, 2016–2030 has outlined a daunting challenge of reducing stunting in children under 5 years of age to 1% by 2030 for the long-term health, wellbeing, human capital development and national economic growth.

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