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Acute Malnutrition Threatens Lives Of Millions Of Vulnerable Children: WHO
United Nations agencies are calling for urgent action to protect the most vulnerable children in the 15 countries hardest hit by an unprecedented food and nutrition crisis
Photo Credit : Twitter: @DrTedros
United Nations agencies are calling for urgent action to protect the most vulnerable children in the 15 countries hardest hit by an unprecedented food and nutrition crisis.
Conflict, climate shocks, the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, and rising costs of living are leaving increasing numbers of children acutely malnourished while key health, nutrition and other life-saving services are becoming less accessible, the World Health Organization said in a statement on Thursday.
"Currently, more than 30 million children in the 15 worst-affected countries suffer from wasting – or acute malnutrition – and 8 million of these children are severely wasted, the deadliest form of undernutrition. This is a major threat to children’s lives and to their long-term health and development, the impacts of which are felt by individuals, their communities and their countries, WHO stated.
In response, five UN agencies subsuming WHO are calling for accelerated progress on the Global Action Plan on Child Wasting. It aims to prevent, detect and treat acute malnutrition among children in the worst-affected countries, which are Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, the Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen.
“This situation is likely to deteriorate even further in 2023,” said QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. “We must ensure availability, affordability and accessibility of healthy diets for young children, girls, and pregnant and lactating women. We need urgent actionnow to save lives, and to tackle the root causes of acute malnutrition, workingtogether across all sectors.” Qu said.
The UN agencies have called for decisive and timely action to prevent this crisis from becoming a tragedy for the world’s most vulnerable children. All agencies urge for greater investment in support of a coordinated UN response that will meet the unprecedented needs of this growing crisis, before it is too late.
“The global food crisis is also a health crisis, and a vicious cycle: malnutrition leads to disease, and disease leads to malnutrition,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO).”Urgent support is needed now in the hardest hit countries to protect children’s lives and health, including ensuring critical access to healthy foods and nutrition services, especially for women and children.”