UNICEF ambassador David Beckham has written a special report for CNN on the silent emergency of child stunting.

“Imagine opening your daily newspaper and reading a story about a young child whose body and brain has been damaged forever because he or she didn’t get the right nutrition to develop properly,” he writes. "I’m sure you would be outraged. But this is the reality for some 170 million stunted children around the world, according to UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Stunting is what happens when a child doesn’t get the right nutrients in their first 1,000 days of life. The damage to a child’s brain and body is permanent. They will never learn as much as they could if they had received the right food from the start — it can mean up to three years loss of schooling.

“As I learned in Sierra Leone, it is impossible to look into the eyes of a hungry child and not be moved. As a father of four, I cannot sit on the sidelines when millions of children are suffering needlessly, especially when we know simple and inexpensive solutions can stop stunting and help save and change children’s lives.”

To read the full report, visit CNN.com here.

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