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.
Mali
UNICEF/MLIA2012-01174

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.

Yet malnutrition is linked to nearly half of all childhood deaths under 5 — stealing about 3 million young lives a year. 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 is also the world's leading procurer of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Food, a "miracle" treatment that is known 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. 

Fast Fact