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Nutrition Organizations Fear Increased Malnutrition And Wasting In Children

Leading international organizations on nutrition, including Action Against Hunger, Concern Worldwide, the Eleanor Crook Foundation, the International Rescue Committee, and World Vision, wrote a letter to UN Member States urging to recognize how the world is “off track” to meet one particular goal: nutrition.

They fear increased risk of malnutrition and what the organizations call “wasting” in children. Wasting, or low weight for height, is a strong predictor of mortality among children under five.

50 million children are malnourished around the world. These numbers, which are expected to increase as a result of COVID-19, can only be diminished if government increase their malnutrition programs.

The United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) is being held July 7- July 16. The theme is “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.”

The organizations criticize the UNLPF 2020 for not discussing the need to increase access to high-impact nutrition services, such as treatment for wasting.

The organization notes that the underlying cause of 50% of all deaths in children under five and severe malnutrition increases a child’s risk of death up to 12-fold.

Prior to the pandemic, 135 million people faced acute food shortages in 2019, and now the World Food Programme predicts an additional 130 million people could go hungry in 2020, suggesting “265 million people – double that of 2019 – could be pushed to the brink of starvation by year end.” Child wasting could increase by as much as 14%, they say.