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.
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 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.