This issue of SCN News features a comprehensive review of the nutrition and health status of school-age children, an initiative of the SCN Working Group on Nutrition of the School-Age Child chaired very ably during 2000-2002 by Don Bundy of the World Bank. For many decades a neglected age group, the nutritional well being of children six to 18 years reflects cumulative deficits brought about by poor access to food and health care as well as a poor home environment. This article provides up-to-date information on a range of nutrition and health indicators, as well as a summary of programme approaches that are likely to work. This review will provide important input for discussions convened by the Millennium Development Project and its task force on education and gender. The international community is building a new and coherent attack on global poverty, centered around the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs are eight commitments drawn from the Millennium Declaration and endorsed in September 2000 by all member states of the UN. One of my priorities as SCN Chair during these two years will be to articulate the roll of nutrition in the achievement of the MDGs. The SCN Steering Committee has already begun some of this work. Another high priority will be working with the SCN Working Group on Nutrition, Ethics and Human Rights, chaired by Urban Jonsson, to advocate for the inclusion of nutrition in the new voluntary guidelines on the human right to food, mandated by the World Food Summit-5 years later. The SCN and the nutrition community more broadly have taken true leadership in the human rights arena-- the voluntary guidelines will provide a necessary tool to implement the right to food at country level. One of the important aspects of the SCN's work over the past 25 years has been to draw attention to emerging issues and debates in the field of nutrition. The upcoming annual symposium, Mainstreaming Nutrition to Improve Development Outcomes, will address both the challenges and the opportunities for incorporating nutrition thinking into development processes. Improved nutrition is important in its own right, it also strongly influences development outcomes. How can the nutrition community mobilize people, organizations and resources to engage fully in the developmen
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