Every day, UNICEF workers brave war zones, disasters and disease to reach vulnerable children with lifesaving support. This includes treating malnutrition — and preventing it. Every year, hundreds of millions of children under 5 receive nutrition services from UNICEF to help ensure they grow up healthy and strong.
Kids need UNICEF more than ever:
- Rising poverty, drought and other climate change impacts have magnified malnutrition crises around the world.
- Food crises in the Horn of Africa and Sahel regions, Afghanistan and Yemen have sent severe acute malnutrition rates soaring among children — endangering millions of young lives.
- Poor-quality diets are one of the greatest obstacles to child survival and healthy development; stakes are highest in the first two years of life, when malnutrition can irreversibly harm a child’s rapidly growing body and brain.
- 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.
- 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.
Why donate to UNICEF? It's a smart way to make your money go further for children:
- UNICEF is a leader: When emergencies strike, UNICEF reaches acutely malnourished children with lifesaving treatment, and spearheads the work needed to improve nutrition for those who need it the most.
- UNICEF prioritizes prevention: 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: Exclusive breastfeeding has increased by 50 percent since the early 1980s, 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: Every year, millions of children with severe acute malnutrition recover after receiving treatment with UNICEF's help.
Meet The UNICEF Workers Helping Kids Around The World
UNICEF: saving and changing lives
At 14 months old, Adut was suffering from severe acute malnutrition — leaving her quiet, listless and weak, and putting her life at risk. Today, Adut is a different child thanks to her parents getting her the help she needed — treatment with Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food and the care of UNICEF South Sudan’s nutrition team.