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Actor Aamir Khan appointed as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia

Oct 10, 2014 16:53 IST

Bollywood actor, director and producer Aamir Khan on 9 October 2014 was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in South Asia.

Aamir Khan will focus on supporting child nutrition to end stunting across the region. He became UNICEF Ambassador on the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Child Nutrition in South Asia
After sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia has the highest number of under-five deaths in the world with 2.3 million in 2011. Across the region, nearly 40 percent of children under the age of five are stunted because of chronic undernutrition.

Around 28 percent of children are born with low birth weight due to women’s poor nutrition before and during pregnancy.  

The most crucial time to meet a child’s nutritional needs is during the first 1000 days from conception to the child’s second birthday. Proven and effective interventions during this time can prevent malnutrition and drastically reduce the prevalence of stunting.

Moreover, pervasive poverty and disparities prevent millions of children in South Asia from living in dignity, reaching their potential and making choices about their own future.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child. The organization works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable children and benefit them.

The organisation has roped in various international celebrities to support its campaigns around the globe. Some famous faces include Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Mia Farrow, Shakira Mebarak, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon and football star David Beckham.

In 2005, Amitabh Bachchan was appointed a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and has since fronted their polio eradication programme successfully.

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