As part of a special report for the State of the World's Children 2019, UNICEF visited a low cost flat in Kuala Lumpur to highlight the daily struggle faced by families to put nutritious food on the table when their incomes fall below Malaysia's poverty line. Despite living in the glare of city lights, their realities are far less bright.
The issue of urban poverty is not new and UNICEF has previously highlighted concerns in the 2018 study Children Without. This time around we deal solely on the issue of nutrition and heard from 3 mothers about how poverty affects their food choices.
Anything but eggs!
“My children know when I get paid and they usually ask to eat out! As long as they don’t have to eat more eggs – they are happy,” single mother, Nur Haslina tells us about what her children would like to eat. The dislike for eggs comes from the fact that Nur Haslina cannot afford meat or fish on most days and chooses eggs to give her children some protein.
Daily breakfasts consist of nasi lemak bungkus from a nearby stall or plain fried rice she makes at home. For lunch and dinner, she serves eggs in gravy or fried taugeh (bean sprouts). Once or twice a month the family will enjoy fish. Meat is only reserved for special occasions.