UNICEF said Monday that the number of adolescents, pregnant and lactating women suffering from acute malnutrition has increased by 25% since 2020 in the 12 countries most affected by food crises, calling it a “dire situation”. and irreversible effects on their children.
At the epicenter of the malnutrition crisis, the number of malnourished women and girls increased from 5.5 million to 6.9 million. Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen. According to a United Nations agency.
The crisis is exacerbated by war, drought, conflict and instability in Ukraine, UNICEF celebrates in report ‘Undernutrition and Forgotten: A Global Nutrition Crisis for Adolescents and Women’ Said on the occasion of International Women’s Day. March 8th.
“If the international community does not act urgently, this crisis could have lasting consequences for future generations,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.
The malnutrition crisis is not limited to these countries. Her more than one billion women worldwide suffer from malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and anemia, with “devastating consequences” for their lives and well-being.
In addition to weakening immune defenses, malnutrition undermines cognitive development and exacerbates complications during pregnancy and childbirth, resulting in “disastrous and irreversible” consequences for child survival, growth and learning. Make an impact.
More than 51 million children under the age of 2 suffer from growth retardation, and more than half of them develop growth retardation during pregnancy and in the first six months of life (if exclusively breastfed).
In Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, 2 out of 3 young people are underweight for their age and 3 out of 5 young people are anemic.
Women and girls from the poorest households are twice as likely to be underweight as women and girls from the richest households.
Gender inequality is also reflected in nutrition. 2021 will be the year the covid-19 pandemic hit, with 126 million more women than men suffering from food insecurity, compared to her 49 million two years ago. It is
UNICEF is urging governments and development actors to prioritize adolescent girls and women in their programs.
“The inability of girls and women to obtain adequate nutrition perpetuates gender inequalities,” concludes Russell, mobilizing “political will and the necessary resources” to take action. urge you to do so.