War in Ukraine Linked to ‘Massive Malnutrition Crisis’ Affecting Millions in Other Emergencies |
Six weeks since Russia invaded its neighbor, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEFsaid imports have been disrupted to the Middle East and North Africa, where more than 90 percent of food comes from abroad.
Prices also rose for basic commodities, including wheat, vegetable oil and fuel. if this situation continues, “it will seriously affect childrenespecially in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen,” UNICEF said in a statement.
Too poor to pay
Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, warned of an “unprecedented spike in food prices” that families need. unable to pay due to “ongoing conflicts, political instability, COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine“.
Because of these multiple challenges, “the number of children suffering from malnutrition is likely to increase dramatically,” Ms Khodr said to aid partners, “to consolidate efforts to urgently provide and scale up prevention, early detection and treatment malnutrition to solve the problem of malnutrition”. the needs of millions of children and women, especially in countries hardest hit by crises. This is essential to prevent a massive child malnutrition crisis in the region.”
Efforts to prevent
UNICEF is working with partners to provide and scale up life-saving services for children with severe malnutrition, coupled with early detection of malnutrition in children under five years of age. Together with partners, UNICEF also provides preventive nutrition services, including micronutrient supplementation and growth monitoring, as well as counseling and support for age-appropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding.
“We are ready to help modernize the nutrition response in the region to further strengthen linkages with the agriculture, social protection, education and water and sanitation sectors to reach more children in need,” said Ms Khodr.
According to UNICEF, fewer than four in ten young children in the Middle East and North Africa receive the nutrition they need to grow and develop properly.
The region already has high levels of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, meaning that almost one in five children suffer from stunting, and about the same number suffer from wasting or rapid weight loss associated with lack of food.
As worrisome as this data is, the situation is even worse in the Middle East and North Africa, which have suffered the most from the war in Ukraine.
growth retardation, anemia
AT Yemen, 45 percent of children are stunted and over 86 percent are anemic.the most common causes of which include nutritional deficiencies, especially iron, although deficiencies in folic acid, vitamins B12 and A are also important causes.
UNICEF also warned that in Sudan, 13.6% of children are wasted, 36.4% are stunted and almost half of children are anemic.
In Lebanon, 94 per cent of young children are not getting the nutrition they need, and more than 40 per cent of women and children under the age of five are anemic;
In Syria, where the cost of the average food basket nearly doubled in 2021, only one in four young children are getting a reasonably healthy diet.