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Childhood Malnutrition: Help Malnourished Children

Child Malnutrition and Food Security

Food Security Crises in the Sahel and Horn of Africa

The Sahel and Horn of Africa regions in West and East Africa recently experienced unparalleled food crises. Some 23 million people in 11 countries in the regions were affected by food insecurity and potential malnutrition. The survival of millions of children across the Sahel and the Horn of Africa was threatened by a deadly combination of high food prices, armed conflict and crop failure.

The worst of the crisis has been weathered due to the emergency response, but the impact on vulnerable households remains a key concern. Although the people of the Sahel are resilient, their position has been seriously weakened by successive emergencies.  This is especially true of the many children who are still at risk of severe acute malnutrition and are in need of lifesaving treatment. Although a catastrophe has been averted, help is still critically needed

Child Malnutrition—a Silent Killer

Malnutrition is linked to nearly half of all childhood deaths. Prices for basic food like rice, maize, wheat, oil, sugar and salt are skyrocketing, threatening food security, and forcing millions of the world's poorest children into severe malnourishment and starvation.

In much of the world, children with full bellies are still lacking the nutrients and vitamins they need to grow to their full potential. A malnourished child is less able to fight off illness, less likely to get the most out of schooling, and often becomes physically and mentally stunted. Malnutrition keeps children trapped in the cycle of poverty.

You Can Help Support Food Security for the Neediest Children

UNICEF depends on the generosity of donors to support child nutrition. Whether through an emergency feeding program during a disaster or famine or an established community clinic offering education and support to young mothers, UNICEF is committed to preventing and treating child malnutrition around the globe, helping every child get the nutrition needed for a healthy and promising future.

Related Nutrition and Food Security Links

August 29, 2013

Celebrating Nutrition Achievements in Wolaita

Not long ago, it was common for children under the age of 5 to receive treatment for severe malnutrition in this Ethiopian community. Today, a community-based nutrition program is keeping children strong and healthy, and families resilient.

July 15, 2013

Community-based treatment for malnutrition earns praise in northern Nigeria

Nigeria’s rates of childhood stunting and wasting are among the highest in the world, particularly in the north, where the country reaches into the Sahel region. In many cases these conditions can be life threatening if not treated properly.

May 20, 2013

Fighting Malnutrition in Guatemala

In Guatemala, the latest government survey reveals nearly one in two children under 5 is chronically malnourished. See how UNICEF is helping.


$10 can provide 321 packets of Multiple Micronutrient Powder containing essential vitamins to give a powerful boost to infant survival and development. 

$40 can provide a practical and easy to transport scale used to monitor children's weight.

$80 can provide 1000 packets of Oral Rehydration Salts to help children combat dehydration.


Support UNICEF's Nutrition Programs

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