UN warns of ‘catastrophic’ child malnutrition due to rising Ukraine war

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, the cost of life-saving treatment for the most severely malnourished children will increase by 16% due to Russia’s aggression and epidemic in Ukraine.

UNICEF says war and epidemics have pushed up the price of ready-to-eat-therapeutic food raw materials amid the global food crisis.

Without further funding over the next six months, another 600,000 children may be deprived of the necessary treatment, a high-strength paste made with ingredients including peanuts, oil, sugar and added nutrients.

UNICEF did not specify how much funding would be needed to maintain the program. It says a carton of special nutrients containing 150 packets – enough for 6 to 8 weeks to bring a severely malnourished baby back to health – costs an average of about $ 41.

In addition to the widespread pressure on food security, including climate change, rising prices could lead to “catastrophic” levels of severe malnutrition, the children’s agency warned in a statement.

“The world is fast becoming a virtual Tinderbox of preventable infant mortality and infant mortality,” said Katherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF.

Severe wasting, when children are too thin for their height, affects 13.6 million children under the age of 5, and 1 in 5 of these ages dies.

Even before the war and the epidemic, 2-in-3 did not have access to the therapeutic food needed to save their lives, UNICEF said.

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