In a report published yesterday, Tuesday, UNICEF pointed out that several factors such as Coronavirus, conflicts, and climate changes have negatively affected children’s nutrition progress in 91 countries.
According to the report, half of the children aged from 6 to 23 months across several developing countries are not receiving the minimum required number of daily meals. Only a few children have a diverse diet that meets the minimum requirements.
Poor diets and malnutrition can cause illnesses that limit children’s growth and result in poor educational performance. About 11 million children under the age of two are at risk of malnutrition effects such as wasting, according to UNICEF.
Geographically, the diets of only 19% of children between 6 and 23 months old in South Asia meet the minimum food diversity requirements. In Africa, the percentage is less than a quarter, while in Latin America and the Caribbean, the number reached 62%.
UNICEF explained that many families are buying food rather than producing it themselves, which made them dependent on food systems.
However, Jenny Vaughan, UNICEF UK’s senior policy adviser on child health, believes that “progress can still be made with joint global action to build, strengthen and transform food systems so children can get the nutrition they need to survive and thrive.”
The report stressed the need for governments to ensure strong food systems that supply nutritious diets with diverse food.