UNICEF is a United Nations agency that cares about the quality of living standards of children and youth. The agency is securing immediate access to basic health services, adequate treatment, and medical care, and it helps malnourished children and families.
What does UNICEF data state about hunger? How exactly is the agency helping those children in need?
Today, we’re going to cover all the data, statistics, and facts about UNICEF and its work regarding hunger.
3 Key UNICEF Hunger Statistics & Data (Editor’s Pick)
- 75% to 80% of the world’s therapeutic food is procured by UNICEF.
- In South Asia, only 19% of children had proper nutrition.
- 10 million children need humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
12 UNICEF Hunger Statistics
1. About one in five children is chronically malnourished.
Chronic malnourishment is defined as a form of growth failure. The illness causes physical and cognitive delays in development and growth. According to data by UNICEF, one in five children worldwide, or in number, 149 million of them, are chronically malnourished. If they’re not treated, children are at greater risk of not only development problems but also of dying from common infections.
2. UNICEF procured 80% of treatment food for children.
About 75% to 80% of the world’s ready-to-use therapeutic food is procured by UNICEF. Such food is a treatment for children who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Besides the mentioned, UNICEF also works with governments in order to strengthen local health and nutrition systems with the goal of reducing the risk of malnutrition during a crisis.
3. There is no progress in improving children’s nutrition in the last 10 years.
Developing countries are fighting the hunger crisis and the high rate of starvation death. According to UNICEF, only a third of children under the age of 2 have enough food needed for healthy growth. Unfortunately, in the past decade, there hasn’t been any progress in improving children’s nutrition.
4. The ongoing pandemic impacted the progress of helping children’s nutrition.
Besides the most common causes of hunger and starvation such as conflict and climate change, COVID-19 massively impacted the already existing hungry crises. The combination of all three factors has impacted and slowed down the progress on children’s nutrition in 91 countries.
5. Babies of up to 23 months are fed with a minimal amount of food.
Since developing countries are fighting the hunger crisis, half of the children aged between 6 and 23 months weren’t fed the minimum number of daily meals this year. Even fewer children had a diverse diet that met the minimum requirements of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Such a poor diet is causing severe health problems.
6. Globally, there are more than 11 million children vulnerable to wasting.
Speaking of the impact of poor diet and nutrition, due to these reasons, children can fall behind in school, as well as become more vulnerable to illness. They could suffer from malnutrition, stunting, and wasting. According to UNICEF data, more than 11 million children under the age of 2 are vulnerable to wasting.
7. In Africa, only a quarter of children had proper nutrition.
The UNICEF data stated that in the Caribbean and Latin America, 62% of children between 6 and 23 months had a diet that met the minimum diversity requirements. For comparison, in Africa, less than a quarter of children had such a diet and in South Asia, only 19%.
8. More than 100,000 children in Ethiopia might face life-threatening malnutrition.
In the northern region of Tigray in Ethiopia, more than 100,000 children could suffer life-threatening malnutrition in the next 12 months. Millions of children are malnourished due to recurrent droughts, poverty, lack of agricultural investment, and high food prices.
9. Ethiopia is about to run out of ready-to-use therapeutic food.
As we already stated, malnourishment needs to be treated to avoid death. However, UNICEF reported that in Ethiopia, the agencies are about to run out of the formula that is used to treat 4,000 severely malnourished children every single month. This is an alarming problem which needs to be taken care of as soon as possible.
10. In Afghanistan, nearly 10 million children need humanitarian assistance to survive.
Afghanistan has 22.8 million people fighting hunger and starvation and 3.2 million malnourished children. In September 2021, UNICEF estimated that this year, at least 1 million children in Afghanistan will suffer from severe acute malnutrition. In case they don’t receive proper treatment, they could die. UNICEF also stated that almost 10 million girls and boys depend on humanitarian assistance needed just so they can survive.
11. UNICEF helped 4,000 severely malnourished children in August.
This year in August, UNICEF provided life-saving therapeutic treatment to 4,000 severely malnourished children under the age of 5 in Afghanistan. Thanks to that treatment, children are at a bit lesser risk of developing serious health issues such as stunted growth, diabetes, and heart disease.
12. More than 3 million undernourished children die every year.
According to a report by UNICEF issued in 2018, every year, approximately 3.1 million children die from undernutrition. Undernutrition, hunger, and hunger-related diseases contribute to more than half of all global child deaths. Which is terrifying.
To Wrap It Up
Until today, UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other international children’s charity. The agency is fighting on a daily basis for children’s rights and delivering essentials all children need for having an equitable chance in life. Hopefully, all the actions will decrease the high rates of hunger, starvation, and death which are well-spread amongst the children.