Monday, October 20, 2008

Much Needed Assistance for Kyrgyz Youth

Children in Kyrgyzstan, the second poorest nation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, will receive increased attention and assistance thanks to UNICEF. In a country where over fifty percent of the population lives in poverty, and more than twenty-five percent live in extreme poverty, children are some of the hardest hit. About half of Kyrgyz babies between six months and two years old are anemic, and many children under five years old show signs of stunted growth as a result of malnutrition. However, UNICEF has elected to step up funding to help improve the dire situation in Kyrgyzstan after Ann Veneman, the agency’s Executive Director, visited the nation recently. Pledging $270,000 in additional funding, Veneman said, “Giving a child a solid nutritional start in life is critical to physical, mental and social development.”