Nutrition Gives Kids a Healthy Start to Life | UNICEF USA
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Every day, UNICEF workers brave war zones, disasters and disease to reach vulnerable children with lifesaving support. This includes improving nutrition to ensure kids grow up healthy and strong — and preventing and treating malnutrition. Every year, hundreds of millions of children under 5 receive nutrition services from UNICEF. Every year, UNICEF reaches hundreds of millions of children under 5 with services to prevent malnutrition

Kids need UNICEF now more than ever:

  • Poor-quality diets are one of the greatest obstacles to the survival, growth, development and learning of children today; stakes are highest in the first two years of life, when malnutrition can irreversibly harm a child’s rapidly growing body and brain
  • Two-thirds of the world's young children live on a diet that does not meet minimum nutritional requirements for healthy development
  • Rising poverty, inequality, climate change, conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the malnutrition crisis worldwide
  • Poor nutrition takes many forms: wasting, or low weight for height, carries a higher risk of death if not treated properly; stunting, or low height for age, prevents children from reaching their full potential
  • COVID-19 rolled back years of progress on this issue as families lost jobs and income and food systems and nutrition services were disrupted; when schools closed during pandemic lockdowns, 370 million children missed out on what for many was their only nutritious meal of the day
  • Chronic food crises in countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan have resulted in soaring rates of severe acute malnutrition among children, endangering millions of young lives
  • The economic costs of undernutrition are significant — estimated at $3 trillion a year in lost productivity globally

Meet Razaqah Ahmed Ahmed Haroon Haban, a UNICEF-supported community health worker in the Yemen village Wadi Habat. Many years of war have shattered the nation's health system, but Ahmed refuses to let children pay the price, going door-to-door to give those most vulnerable the lifesaving care and nutrition they so desperately need.

Meet Razaqah Ahmed Ahmed Haroon Haban, a UNICEF-supported community health worker in rural Yemen who is determined to give the most vulnerable children the lifesaving care and nutrition they so desperately need.

 

Why donate to UNICEF? It's a smart way to make your money go further for children:UNICEF makes your online donations go further for children

  • UNICEF is a leader: When emergencies strike, UNICEF spearheads the work to provide nutrition to children who need it most
  • UNICEF prevents and treats: UNICEF provides micronutrients to children who are vulnerable to malnutrition to protect them from disease and cognitive delays
  • UNICEF tackles the root causes of the problems children face: UNICEF backs nutrition programs in over 130 countries, with the support of 700 nutrition experts
  • UNICEF encourages best practices: Over the last four decades, exclusive breastfeeding has increased by 50 percent, helping to build babies’ immunity, give them the key nutrients they need to grow and thrive and reduce their risk of obesity and diabetes later in life
  • UNICEF is adaptable: : Applying a community-based approach to malnutrition prevention, treatment and care, UNICEF has been able to increase the number of children reached with lifesaving support year over year
  • UNICEF gets results: In 2020, 5 million children with severe acute malnutrition received treatment with UNICEF's help
  • In 2020, 5 million children with severe acute malnutrition received treatment with UNICEF's help
  • UNICEF provides hundreds of millions of packets of micronutrient powders every year to protect children from disease
  • When emergencies strike, UNICEF spearheads the work to provide nutrition to children who need it most
  • UNICEF procures an estimated 80 percent of the world’s therapeutic food that brings malnourished kids back to good health
  • UNICEF has helped increase exclusive breastfeeding by 50 percent, helping mothers give babies their best start in life

Meet the UNICEF workers helping kids around the world

We won't stop until we bring good health to every child
We won't stop until every child has clean water
We won't stop until we help every child learn
We won't stop until we reach every child in crisis
We won't stop until we treat every malnourished child
We won't stop until we protect every child
We won't stop until every child has a voice

UNICEF: saving and changing lives

In 2019, 14-month-old Adut was quiet, listless, weak, tired and severely acutely malnourished. Two years later, Adut is a different child thanks to her parents who got her the help she needed — treatment with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food and the care of UNICEF South Sudan’s nutrition team.

In 2019, 14-month-old Adut was quiet, listless, weak, tired and severely acutely malnourished. Two years later, Adut is a different child thanks to her parents who got her the help she needed — treatment with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food and the care of UNICEF South Sudan’s nutrition team.