This is a disturbing announcement Thursday from the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEFwhich issued a warning to 15 countries in crisis where the situation is deteriorating.
The UN agency’s warning comes as world leaders prepare to convene for a G7 summit of major industrialized nations in Germany in the coming days.
need 1.2 billion dollars
UNICEF has requested $1.2 billion to meet the urgent needs of eight million children at risk of severe malnutrition in 15 predominantly African countries such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan, as well as in Afghanistan and Haiti.
The UN agency stressed that the number of severely malnourished children continues to rise in countries where it raised the alarm.
Between January and June, which the number of children increased by more than 250,000, from 7.67 million to 7.93 million children..
Prices are rising
This is the price of ready-to-eat food for the treatment of severe malnutrition, up 16% in recent weeksdue to the sharp increase in the cost of raw materials.
UNICEF has warned that up to 600,000 more children “have lost access to life-saving treatment and are at risk of death” due to the price hike.
“Now we are seeing the tinderbox of extreme levels of child malnutrition starting to flare up,” said UNICEF Executive Director Katherine Russell.
“Food aid is critical, but we cannot save starving children with sacks of wheat. We need to reach these children with therapeutic treatment now, before it is too late.”
Soaring food prices caused by the war in Ukraine, persistent drought due to climate change in some countries, sometimes combined with conflict, and continued economic impact COVID-19exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity around the world, resulting in catastrophic levels of severe malnutrition among children under 5 years of age.
Severe emaciation when children are too thin for their height the most visible and deadly form of malnutrition. A weakened immune system increases the risk of death among children under the age of 5 by up to 11 times compared to well-nourished children.
The agency estimates that in the 15 countries identified by UNICEF as most at risk, at least 40 million children are severely malnourishedwhich means they are not getting the minimum varied nutrition they need to grow and develop in early childhood.
Furthermore, 21 million children are severely food insecurewhich means they do not have access to enough food to meet their minimum food needs, putting them at high risk of severe malnutrition.