- An additional 6.7 million children under the age of five could suffer from wasting – and therefore become dangerously undernourished – in 2020 as a result of the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF warned. According to an analysis published in The Lancet, 80 per cent of these children would be from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Over half would be from South Asia alone.
- UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said, “It’s been seven months since the first COVID-19 cases were reported and it is increasingly clear that the repercussions of the pandemic are causing more harm to children than the disease itself. Household poverty and food insecurity rates have increased. Essential nutrition services and supply chains have been disrupted. Food prices have soared. As a result, the quality of children’s diets has gone down and malnutrition rates will go up.”
- In a commentary to The Lancet report, the heads of UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is undermining nutrition across the world particularly in low- and middle-income countries, with the worst consequences being borne by young children. More children and women are becoming malnourished due to the deteriorating quality of their diets, the interruption of nutrition services, and the shocks created by the pandemic.
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