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UNICEF: Warns of ‘catastrophic’ levels of child malnutrition due to rising food prices

The cost of providing treatment that could save the lives of the most malnourished children is expected to increase by 16% due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the problems caused by the pandemic, UNICEF estimated.

The cost of materials for making ready-to-eat therapeutic food has risen sharply due to the global food crisis caused by the war and the pandemic, the UN children’s service said.

If funding is not increased in the next six months, an additional 600,000 children may not receive this critical treatment, a high-calorie paste that contains oil, sugar, nuts and other nutrients.

UNICEF did not specify how much extra money is needed to continue this program. He explained, however, that a box containing 150 packets of this food – enough to feed a child for six to eight weeks until he regains his health – costs an average of $ 41.

Rising costs for making this food will lead to “catastrophic” levels of acute malnutrition, UNICEF warned in a statement.

“People are rapidly turning into a powder keg of preventable child deaths and malnourished children suffering from malnutrition,” said Kathryn Russell, the agency’s executive director.

Malnutrition, when children are very thin for their height, affects 13.6 million children under the age of 5 worldwide and is responsible for one in five deaths in this age group.

Even before the war and the pandemic, two out of three children did not have access to the healing food needed to save their lives, UNICEF said.


Source: Capital

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