Global Hunger Crisis Driving One Child Per Minute into Severe Malnutrition — Global Issues

That is the alarming message Thursday from the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF, which has raised the alarm for 15 countries in crisis where the situation is deteriorating.

The UN agency’s warning comes as world leaders prepare to gather in the coming days for the G7 summit of leading industrialized economies in Germany.

$1.2 billion needed

UNICEF has requested $1.2 billion to meet the urgent needs of eight million children at risk of death from serious waste, in 15 mainly African countries, such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan, as well as Afghanistan and Haiti.

The UN agency stressed that the number of desperately hungry children suffering from severe wastage has continued to grow in countries where the alarm has been raised.

That is between January and June number increased by more than 250,000, from 7.67 million to 7.93 million children

Prices rise

This comes as the price of ready-to-eat food to combat serious waste, has increased by 16 percent in recent weeksdue to a sharp increase in the cost of raw materials.

UNICEF warned the price spike has left up to 600,000 additional children “without access to life-saving treatment and at risk of death”.

“We are now seeing the tinderbox of conditions for extreme levels of child waste begin to catch fire,” said UNICEF Director Catherine Russell.

Food aid is critical, but we can’t save starving children with sacks of wheat† We need to reach these children with therapeutic treatment now before it is too late.”

Rising food prices due to the war in Ukraine, ongoing drought due to climate change in some countries, sometimes combined with conflict, and the ongoing economic impact of COVID-19 are creating global food and nutrition insecurity, resulting in catastrophic levels of severe malnutrition in children under 5 years

‘Deadly’ lack of nutrition

Serious weight loss – where children are too thin for their height – is the most visible and deadly form of malnutrition† A weakened immune system increases the risk of death in children under the age of 5 up to 11 times compared to well-nourished children.

Among the 15 countries identified by UNICEF as the most at-risk countries, the agency estimates that: at least 40 million children are severely nutritionally insecuremeaning they are not fed the bare minimum of varied diet they need to grow and develop in early childhood.

Further, 21 million children are seriously food insecuremeaning they don’t have access to enough food to meet minimum food needs, putting them at high risk of serious waste.