Since the beginning of the year, a child per minute has suffered from severe acute malnutrition in 15 countries

Fatime Abakar, with her daughter Haoua, in the pediatric ward of the provincial hospital in Bol, the capital of the Lac region, in Chad.  Fatime is only 20 years old, mother of 4 children and now heavily pregnant with her 5th child.  Haoua, is 12 months old, weighs 4.8 kg and is malnourished.  After suffering from severe diarrhea, the little girl first received F-150 for 3 days, then F-75 (therapeutic milk) for 3 days and after Plumpy'nut.  Also medication for diarrhea.  For every child, nutrition.  (PUBLICATION RECEIVED)

Unicef’s appeal in light of G7. Nearly 8 million children under the age of 5 in 15 countries in crisis are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition

As world leaders prepare to meet for the G7 summit, UNICEF warns that nearly 8 million children under 5 in 15 crisis-stricken countries are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition if they do not receive food and treatment immediately. , and the number increases. per minute. Since the beginning of the year, the worsening global food crisis has caused another 260,000 children – or one child every 60 seconds – to suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 15 countries suffering from the bulk of the crisis, including the Horn of Africa and Central Sahel. This increase in severe acute malnutrition contributes to pre-existing levels of malnutrition in childhood. Last month, UNICEF warned that it was a “virtual security”.

“We now see that the safeguarding of extreme levels of acute malnutrition among children has been triggered,” he said. UNICEF Director – General Catherine Russell. “Food aid is essential, but we can not save hungry children with wheat sacks. We must reach these children immediately through therapeutic treatments before it is too late ”.

The rise in food prices caused by the war in Ukraine, the persistent drought due to climate change in some countries, sometimes combined with conflicts, and the persistent drought economic consequences of Covid-19 continue to increase food and nutritional insecurity for children around the world, which causes catastrophic levels of severe malnutrition in children under 5 years of age. In response, Unicef ​​is stepping up its efforts in the 15 most affected countries: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen will be included in an acceleration plan to help avert an escalation of deaths among children and mitigate the long-term damage of severe acute malnutrition.

“Severe acute malnutrition – which is equivalent to children being too thin for their height – is the most visible and deadly form of malnutrition – explains Unicef. A weakened immune system increases the risk of death among children under 5 by as much as 11 times compared to well-fed children ”.

In the aforementioned 15 countries, UNICEF estimates that at least 40 million children are severely nutritionally insecure, meaning they are not getting the minimum diversified diet they need to grow and develop in early childhood. In addition, 21 million children are severely food insecure, meaning they do not have access to enough food to meet the minimum food requirements, putting them at high risk for severe acute malnutrition. Meanwhile, the price of ready-to-use therapeutic foods for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition has risen by 16% in recent weeks. due to a sharp rise in the price of primary ingredients, leaving up to a further 600,000 children without access to lifesaving care and at risk of dying.

As leaders prepare to meet for the G7 summit, UNICEF launches one appeal for $ 1.2 billion for:

  • Provide an important package of nutrition services and care to avoid what could be millions of deaths among children in the 15 high-risk countries, including prevention programs to protect mother and child nutrition for pregnant women and young children, early detection and treatment programs for children suffers from severe acute malnutrition as well as the purchase and distribution of ready-to-use therapeutic foods.
  • Prioritize the prevention and treatment of severe acute malnutrition in all global food crisis plans, and ensure that budget allocations include preventive nutrition interventions and therapeutic foods to meet the immediate needs of children affected by severe acute malnutrition.

“It’s hard to describe what it means for a child to suffer from ‘severe acute malnutrition’, but when you meet a child who suffers from this most deadly form of malnutrition, you understand – and you will never forget,” he said. Russell. “World leaders gathered in Germany for the G7 ministerial meeting have a small window of opportunity to act and save the lives of these children. There is no time to lose. Waiting for famine to be declared means waiting for, that the children die ”.

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