Over half million Malawi’s children at malnutrition risk – UNICEF

UNICEF has warned that over half a million children in the country are at risk of malnutrition.

According to a statement that the Fund has released on Friday, at least 573,000 children under five are at risk of suffering from malnutrition in Malawi.

“Children in Malawi are at the sharp end of the global polycrisis. Food insecurity, exasperated by a growing climate crisis, disease outbreaks, and the global economic downturn, is threatening to wreak havoc and disrupt the lives of millions of children,” said UNICEF Country Representative Gianfranco Rotigliano.

UNICEF understands that this has been revealed despite recent progress in reducing chronic malnutrition, acute food insecurity—compounded by recurrent climate shocks, preventable disease outbreaks, and economic instability.

The Fund is worried that the trend threatens to reverse past gains the country registered.

Added Rotigliano: “The prospect of having over half a million children suffering from malnutrition is unacceptable. Without an immediate response, the impact on these vulnerable children will be deadly.”

A new Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal, launched by UNICEF on Friday, shows an increase in malnutrition cases among children in Malawi over the last five years.

This year alone, UNICEF estimates that that over 62,000 children, aged between 6 to 59 months, are at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), often called wasting.

The agency is therefore calling for US$ 87.7 million to address the urgent needs of 3.3 million children, UNICEF has increased its appeal for Malawi from US$52.4 to the said US$87.7 million.

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