United Nations (UN) 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, and scaling up these actions as a coordinated package will be critical for preventing and treating acute malnutrition in children, and averting loss of life
Conflict, climate shocks, the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, and rising costs of living are leaving an increasing number of children acutely malnourished while key health, nutrition and other life-saving services are becoming less accessible. Currently, more than 30 million children in the 15 worst-affected countries suffer from acute malnutrition, with eight million of these children being severely undernourished. This is a major threat to children’s lives and to their long-term health and development, the impacts of which can be felt by individuals, their communities and their countries.
In response, five UN agencies - the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (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, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, the Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen.
The Global Action Plan addresses the need for a multi-sectoral approach and highlights priority actions across maternal and child nutrition. In response to increasing needs, the UN agencies identified five effective priority actions. Scaling up these actions as a coordinated package will be critical for preventing and treating acute malnutrition in children, and averting loss of life.
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.