Articles

1.4 mil. children face severe malnutrition

March 7, 2020


A series of reports this week from the United
Nations show a number of African countries are finding it increasingly difficult to put
food on the table. In fact, more than a million children are
at risk of dying from malnutrition this year. For the full story we turn to our Oh Soo-young
Nearly one-point-four million children are at “imminent risk of death” this year from
severe malnutrition resulting from famines in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia. The United Nations Children’s Fund released
the shocking figures this week, shortly after a famine was declared in parts of South Sudan. The country has been reeling from three years
of civil war and a flailing economy which has left some 100-thousand people facing starvation
and 270-thousand children severely malnourished. The UN calls it the worst hunger catastrophe
since fighting broke out in the country and warns the number of those food insecure could
rise to five-and-a-half million by July. Food security in northeast Nigeria has also
been plagued by conflict. The number of children with severe malnutrition
is projected to reach 450-thousand this year with some areas beyond the reach of aid due
to civil unrest. In Yemen, the number recorded 462-thousand,
an increase of almost 200 percent since 2014. In Somalia, a prolonged drought has worsened
the already precarious access to food. Some six-point-two million people — nearly
half the population– now face acute food insecurity,… and 185-thousand children are
expected to become severely malnourished this year. “The fact is that these conflicts are largely
manmade. Children are dying because of manmade conflict-affected
disasters. In 2017, that’s shameful… A severely malnourished child is up to nine
times more likely to die of diseases like measles, or malaria or cholera, than a healthy
child.” UNICEF is working with its partners to deliver
therapeutic treatment to 940-thousand severely malnourished children across the four countries. But experts say that won’t be enough. The organization is calling for joint global
action– this means sufficient funding, access to areas in dire need of aid as well as political
solutions — to make hunger history for millions of children in our world. Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.

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