By Nabeeha M. Kazi, President & CEO, Humanitas Global
The 2016 Lancet Early Childhood Development Series, with new scientific evidence that builds off of the 2007 Lancet Series on the same topic, launches this week. It comes at a time of renewed international attention on early childhood development (ECD), and doing right by the world's children and their families.
Investments in ECD have been growing, with US$1.7 billion from the Inter-American Development Bank and US$3.3 billion from Work Bank supporting more than 423 projects around the world. Since 2000, publications on the subject of ECD have steadily increased and the number of countries with national multi-sectoral ECD policies increased from seven to 68 in 2014. The ECD Series points to evidence that shows that the cost of not acting on combating early childhood risks, such as stunting, extreme poverty, violence and physical and emotional abuse, can lead to poor health, malnutrition, difficulties in learning, and a reduction in future incomes by 26 percent.