Looking Beyond Food: Child survival in the hunger crisis

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Save the Children International,Save the Children UK

The world is facing a hunger crisis, the likes of which have no place in the 21st century. A perfect storm of different crises has pushed millions of families into poverty and food insecurity. An all-time high of 45 million people are now facing emergency levels of hunger and are at risk of falling into famine. 989,000 people are already experiencing famine-like conditions. This crisis is hitting children hardest and pushing one child into severe acute malnutrition every minute. This is a life-threatening condition which leads to muscle wasting, reduced organ function and a severely weakened immune system, turning common childhood illnesses into killer diseases. At least 13.6 million children are currently severely acutely malnourished, while up to 60 million could be acutely malnourished. 149 million children are also stunted due to sustained undernutrition, which irreversibly affects their long-term health. We need to do more and better to address the crisis: while scaling up funding for emergency response is critical, in order to save lives and protect children’s futures, this brief pulls out three important health and nutrition interventions that urgently need scaling up.

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