“One month after the first of two major earthquakes hit Nepal, an estimated 70,000 children under five are at risk of malnutrition and require urgent humanitarian support”. This is what UNICEF declared, highlighting that around 15,000 children in 14 districts need therapeutic foods for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition and that some 55,000 children with moderate acute malnutrition require supplementary feeding and care to bring them back to healthy growth and development.
“Before the earthquake, more than 1 in 10 children across Nepal were already suffering from acute malnutrition, while close to 4 in 10 had stunted growth due to chronic under-nutrition,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF’s Representative in Nepal. “Now we have serious concerns that the situation could deteriorate in the wake of this disaster and undo the gains in nutrition that this country has achieved in the past few years.”
UNICEF is working with national and international partners and the government of Nepal to deliver a complete nutrition response that includes promoting breastfeeding for children under two years of age and providing essential supplements for more than 120,000 children. Moreover, it is promoting interventions to support the community screening to identify children with severe acute malnutrition in affected districts, and to deliver specialized ready-to-use therapeutic foods to treat the severe acute malnutrition. Despite all these interventions, UNICEF declares that the situation in Nepal is still critical: 1.7 million children remain in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo