More than half of the world's chronically undernourished children under the age of 5 live in South Asia. Chronically undernourished children are more likely to suffer serious infections and die from common illnesses such as diarrhea, measles, pneumonia and malaria, a report
by the U.N. Children's Fund said. Nutritional deficiencies damage a child's ability to learn, leave many stunted and lead to lower IQs, the report said. More than 40 percent of young children are undernourished in Afghanistan, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the five countries hit hardest by the problem. Nearly 83 million children under 5 in those countries do not get enough food. The paradox of South Asia is that despite healthy levels of economic growth in many countries, chronic undernutrition remains persistently and unacceptably high, says UNICEF.