Nutrition and Food Security

A few days ago Samba Keita, 8 months, was in intensive treatment of severe malnutrition in URENI of Kangaba hospital. Today, he is completely healed.

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UNICEF works to give kids a healthy start.

Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival and child development. Well-nourished children are better able to grow and learn, to participate in their communities, and to be resilient in the face of disease or disaster.

Every day, nearly 7,500 children under age 5 die from malnutrition. And for millions of children, chronic malnutrition will result in stunting – an irreversible condition that literally stunts their physical and mental growth.

Younas of Pakistan holds a packet of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, a protein-rich "miracle" treatment for severe acute malnutrition. After the 10-month-old infant was diagnosed with SAM, he was treated with RUTF at a UNICEF-supported health clinic and recovered. © UNICEF/UN025832/Malik

The first 1,000 days from the start of a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday offer a window of opportunity for preventing undernutrition and its consequences. UNICEF targets this period with support for breastfeeding, nutrition-rich foods for infants and micronutrient supplements. 

By focusing on these first 1,000 days, UNICEF has helped cut the number of children badly affected by stunting by nearly 100 million since 1990.

UNICEF purchases between 75 and 80 percent of the world's supply of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food, a "miracle" treatment formulated to bring children who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition back from the brink. UNICEF works with manufacturers to increase supplies of the product and keep prices down. And thanks to the UNICEF Kid Power movement, UNICEF is reaching even more kids in need.