A new Unicef report has revealed that more than 2 million children under five years of age are suffering from acute malnutrition, and 600,000 of them are currently suffering from severe acute malnutrition, which is the most dangerous form of undernutrition in kids.
Afghanistan is one of the countries with the highest numbers of children under the age of five suffering from severe acute malnutrition, alongside Yemen and South Sudan.
In 2018, Unicef, who is the sole provider of ready to use therapeutic food for malnourished children in Afghanistan, could so far only target less than 50 per cent of severely malnourished children due to limited supplies (275,000), said the report.
The situation is complex against the backdrop of continued violence, climatic extremes (droughts and flash floods) multiple displacements, growing food insecurity and improper feeding habits, according to the report.
“Across Afghanistan today, millions of children are in desperate need for health and nutrition services,. around 14 million people in Afghanistan are food insecure today, among them around 3.5 million children, whom, we expect will suffer from acute malnutrition, within them around one million children,” TOLO News quoted Salam Al-Janabi, communication specialist for Unicef in Afghanistan, as saying.
He said that UNICEF and WFP have been working to the full extent of their capability over the past two months.
“Around 40,000 children were provided with treatment for severe acute malnutrition.”
The findings of the most recent nutrition surveys across Afghanistan also show that 22 out of 34 provinces are currently above the emergency threshold of acute malnutrition.
The Unicef program on nutrition in Afghanistan is only 50 per cent funded of the $13 million.