Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

A New Child Suffers From Severe Malnutrition Every Minute, Warns UNICEF

Increase in food prices, natural calamities, conflicts and economic repercussions of the pandemic have led to food and nutrition insecurity around the world.
June 24, 2022

Every minute, one more child joins the nearly eight million children under the age of five at risk of dying from severe wasting in 15 countries affected by the hunger crisis that is ravaging them, the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF).

Those little ones will die unless they receive food and immediate therapeutic attention, UNICEF added, urging international donors, specifically the G7 countries, to contribute 1.2 billion dollars for this purpose. The agency’s request comes before the G7 summit.

The UN agency detailed that the growing global food crisis has added 260,000 children so far this year, or one every minute, to the total number of those suffering from severe wasting in the 15 most affected countries.

UNICEF estimates that at least  40 million children are severely malnourished in these 15 countries, meaning they are not receiving the minimum and diverse diets they need to grow and develop in early childhood.

In addition, 21 million children face severe food insecurity, that is, they do not have access to enough food to meet minimum dietary needs, putting them at high risk of severe wasting.

Severe wasting is the most visible and deadly form of malnutrition. The weakening of the immune system increases the risk of death among children under 5 years of age up to eleven times more than among well-nourished children.

“It’s hard to describe what it means for a child to be ‘severely wasted’, but when you meet a child who is severely wasted, you understand and,” said the UNICEF Executive Director.