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War in Ukraine exacerbates child malnutrition worldwide


Around 600,000 malnourished children around the world could be affected in the short term. According to the UN, the conflict in Eastern Europe has massive consequences for aid programs. In focus: more expensive peanut paste.

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Unicef ​​feeding in Ethiopia

Photo: Michael Gottschalk / photothek / IMAGO

The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine not only has a significant impact on the two countries affected.

According to the United Nations children's charity Unicef, there is a risk of an increase in severe malnutrition among children worldwide - partly because of the conflict in Eastern Europe.

According to a Unicef ​​report published on Tuesday, "both the number of affected children and the costs of therapeutic supplementary food are currently increasing".

Accordingly, the price of peanut paste, which is used to treat severely malnourished children, is likely to rise by 16 percent in the coming months.

"Even before the war in Ukraine, many families were struggling to feed their children due to conflict, climate shock and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," said Unicef ​​Executive Director Catherine Russell.

At the same time, only about a third of the affected children received life-saving treatment with therapeutic supplementary food.

Due to the increase in the price of peanut paste, 600,000 more children per year could soon no longer be able to access it.

According to Unicef, the likely persistently high transport and delivery costs are also problematic.

Problems especially in East Asia

UNICEF speaks of a “collation of several shocks”, which threatens the food security of families and children worldwide.

»These include the effects of the war in Ukraine, the difficult economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and persistent climate-related droughts in some countries.«

According to Unicef, children in southern Asia are most affected by malnutrition.

In Afghanistan, the children's charity expects the number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition to double this year compared to 2018. In the Horn of Africa, the number of affected children is likely to increase from 1.7 million to two million due to a drought.

In the Sahel zone, there is a risk of an increase of 26 percent compared to 2018.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-05-17

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