Combatting severe acute malnutrition in Phnom Penh’s vulnerable communities
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, 8 November 2016 – Yin Seiha is 15 months old. She lives with her mother Chea Sok in one of Phnom Penh’s slum communities, in a single room hut that floats on the Tonle Sap River. Smiling and playing with her one-year-old neighbour, it’s hard to believe that this is the same child that a month ago was struggling to live and in need of urgent treatment.
Working with communities to curb malnutrition in Sierra Leone
PORT LOKO, Sierra Leone, 3 November 2016 – It’s a rainy morning in Gbombana village, Port Loko district, but several women – and some men – have braved the downpour to get to the health centre. They have come for the weekly meeting of the Gbombana Mothers’ Support Group, a community platform for parents to share experiences and advice on infant and young child nutrition.
Community leaders unite against malnutrition in Burundi
MUGINA, Burundi, 30 September 2016 – “I don’t know what is happening with my little child. She is not eating well and has lost her appetite little by little. We are worried and I don’t like to see her suffering,” says 34-year-old Donavina Ndereyimana, a mother of five. She lives in Mugina, a poor community in the province of Cibitoke, and is one of the many mothers there who knows the anguish of having a child with severe acute malnutrition.
What next for Nigeria’s children?
GWOZA, Nigeria, 23 September 2016 – Ajija is as frail as you possibly can be when alive. The four-year-old should be actively playing with friends but she can barely stand. When she is checked by a health worker, she is unsurprisingly registered as severely malnourished.
Life returns to parts of conflict-ridden Borno
GWOZA/KONDUGA, Borno, Nigeria, 29 August 2016 – The Mandara mountains appear ominously on the horizon through the cockpit window. Clouds hang over the ridge that cuts across Nigeria’s north-east border with Cameroon.
In South Sudan, child malnutrition worsens as conflict hinders response
JUBA, South Sudan, 4 August 2016 – Before the fighting that shook South Sudan’s capital of Juba last month, staff at the Al Sabah children’s hospital were admitting about 30 children a day for the treatment of malnutrition. Today that number often surpasses 80.
Fighting malnutrition in Pakistan with a helping hand from children abroad
MUZAFFARGARH, Southern Punjab, 7 July 2016 – It was only seven weeks ago that Haseena Fiyyaz walked into the Mehmood Kot Basic Health Unit (BHU) with her 10-month-old boy, Younas, in her arms. One could easily see that not only was the child frail and underweight, but so was the mother.
Clubs, books and tape: The low-tech solutions saving children’s lives in Sierra Leone
ROGBONKO, Sierra Leone, 13 April 2016 – It’s eight o’clock on a Saturday morning, and the Rogbonko village centre fills with cheerful song and laughter as women gather around a simple picture book. This is the weekly meeting of the Rogbonko mothers’ support group, where pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and mothers with young children from the community come together to learn about nutrition.
Mothers take on malnutrition in Burundi
KIRUNDO, Burundi, 22 February 2016 – “Prices here have increased,” says Anastasie Sinzobakwira, cradling her son outside the Kirundo hospital. His name is Joseph. He is 5 years old, and severely malnourished. “One kilogram of rice was [BIF]1,200 last year, and now it’s 1,500. It’s the same thing with sweet potatoes. They were 1,000 before, and they’re 1,800 now.”
Malnutrition a growing risk for Burundian refugee children in the United Republic of Tanzania
KIGOMA, United Republic of Tanzania, 23 June 2015 – Emelyne and her 1-year-old twin daughters Lydia and Floride are among the families at the busy nutrition centre in Nyarugusu camp, in Kigoma region. Children admitted with severe acute malnutrition are being given specialized feeding and therapeutic care to help rehabilitate them. Lydia and Floride have been receiving treatment for a week.
United Republic of Tanzania: Zanzibar fights a hidden hunger with iodized salt
PEMBA ISLAND, United Republic of Tanzania, 8 November 2013 – Mbarouk Hamad Yussaf, a salt farmer in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, sighs with relief. He has just received a year’s worth of potassium iodate and a manual sprayer. The equipment was distributed through Zanzibar’s Ministry of Health programme that aims for universal salt iodization on the island, with support from UNICEF.
In Ethiopian villages, improving water and nutrition lays groundwork for a better future
MACHAKEL DISTRICT, Ethiopia, 1 November 2013 – At 10 a.m. in the small village of Amari Yewabesh in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, Wubalem Asmamaw quietly greets her neighbours before putting down her clay pot in front of a water tap. The 17-year old student opens the spigot and fills the pot. She then walks back to her family’s home.
Nourishing the children of M'bera refugee camp, Mauritania
M’BERA REFUGEE CAMP, Mauritania, 8 October 2013 – It’s difficult to work in the extreme daytime heat of M’bera refugee camp, so mothers bring their children to the centre for the treatment of malnourished children early in the morning.
In Central African Republic, going door to door to beat malnutrition
BAMBARI, Central African Republic, 5 September 2013 - Dieu-Donné Pamad sits on a thin hospital bed watching his baby sister laugh and play with their mother. Despite being more than a year older at 19 months, the boy is barely bigger than his 4-month-old sister.
Reducing the prevalence of birth defects in Georgia
TBILISI, Georgia, 28 June 2013 – Maka Vashakidze has two daughters. The toddler smiles shyly as she greets the group of visitors.
A strike against chronic malnutrition in Burundi
MUYINGA PROVINCE, Burundi, 17 June 2013 – Jacqueline Bangirinama knows hunger. She sees it when her 2-month-old daughter clings to her breast, suckling without respite. She sees it when her 2-year-old daughter cries restlessly, unable to find comfort, and when she and her 4-year-old sister fight over a small piece of boiled potato, hours before the family’s one meal a day. And she sees it when she sends her 7-year-old son, who looks small for his age, off on his long walk to school with an empty stomach.
American singer and songwriter Katy Perry witnesses UNICEF’s efforts to fight chronic malnutrition in Madagascar
ANDRORANGA VOLA, Madagascar, 11 June 2013 – “So, if we have rice, what can we add to it?” asks Angeline Volefero, a heath worker in the village of Androranga Vola, just a few km in Madagascar’s east coast. “How about meat? And then some zucchini?”
In London, an historic opportunity to tackle global undernutrition
NEW YORK, United States of America, 7 June 2013 – Between 2005 and 2012 in Haiti, a coordinated effort to address childhood malnutrition helped reduce stunting levels from 29 per cent to 22 per cent. This significant achievement came as a result of government-led initiatives such as food distribution for the most vulnerable, community-based nutrition counselling and integrated management of acute malnutrition.
UNICEF and sister agencies issue largest ever appeal to help Syrians
NEW YORK, 7 June 2013— As the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic continues to spiral out of control, UNICEF and its sister United Nations agencies have mounted the largest ever appeal for funds.
Finding local solutions in a regional food crisis
DORI, Burkina Faso, 17 May 2013 - After 35 days at Dori Hospital, 15 of them in a coma, 2-year-old Mariama now weighs 6.5 kilograms and is on the road to recovery. When she arrived, she weighed just five kilograms and was suffering from severe malnutrition with complications. Over the last two years, this referral hospital in the hot and dry north of Burkina Faso has seen a steady flow of such cases, as a large-scale nutrition crisis across nine countries of the Sahel region has left more than a million children at risk for or suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
In Ghana, community mobilizes against malnutrition
GBULLUNG, Ghana, 1 May 2013 - When Hamdan’s face and body swelled up, his mother Ramatu did not know what was wrong with him. In this part of northern Ghana, many parents believe that symptoms of illness in their children signify a curse from the gods or punishment from ancestors. Children are taken to traditional healers for spiritual intervention, rather than for medical care.
Severely malnourished children in Haiti thrive, with simple, affordable remedies
JEREMIE, Haiti, 24 April 2013 – Through the leafy beanstalks, Derilus Firdemont watches her 4-year-old daughter Sendy play with friends in the garden.
Nutrition campaign helps make Cambodia’s children strong, healthy and clever
KAMPONG THOM, Cambodia, 24 April 2013 – It is 8:00 a.m. in Ponleak village, Kampong Thom, and the sun is already high in the sky. A line of oxen amble down the dry dirt road past Vath Ngim’s house on stilts.
Local factory provides home-grown response to malnutrition in the Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 17 April 2013 – A few hundred metres from the banks of the mighty Niger River, where the routines of fishers and farmers continue as they have for centuries, a modest factory is transforming how this West African nation responds to the threat of malnutrition.
Fighting malnutrition in Bangladesh with education
JAMALPUR, Bangladesh, 16 April 2013 – Monsoon rains lash down in northwest Bangladesh. The rising waters flood fields and rice paddies, turn dirt tracks and paths into muck.
Difference between life and death for children in Sindh province, Pakistan
SANGHAR DISTRICT, Sindh Province, Pakistan, 15 April 2013 – Nightat Bibi is from a remote village in Sanghar district. A mother of five, she knows all too well how vulnerable a malnourished child is to disease and death.
UNICEF report reveals shocking cost of malnutrition and outlines unprecedented chance to defeat it
NEW YORK, United States of America, 15 April 2013 – A new UNICEF report reveals the shocking prevalence of stunting in children under the age of 5.
An offensive against malnutrition in Guatemala
ALDEA CHICORRAL, Guatemala, 12 April 2013 – Elena López lives in the western highlands of Guatemala in a one-room house with a dirt floor, no electricity and no running water. She grows her own coffee, makes her own tortillas by hand and has taught the three oldest of her four daughters how to use a stick to knock fruit out of the trees in the front yard.
New health centres and community outreach tackle Chad's nutrition crisis
MONGO, Chad, 11 April 2013 – The father wipes his eyes with the sleeve of his white boubou.“We did all we could,” says Dr. Kaimbo. “Unfortunately, the boy was too weak.”
Massive scale-up targets malnutrition in Angola
CAALA, Angola, 10 April 2013 – When Eunice brought 1-year-old Marilia to the therapeutic feeding centre in Caala, Huambo Province, the baby was in critical condition. She had swollen legs and hands and was refusing all food, including breast milk.
Months after Typhoon Bopha, children in the Philippines at risk of malnutrition
LAAK, Philippines, 26 March 2013 – Three-year-old Bartolome Mantog is sitting up – the first time he has done so for days. He has just been given a bath, and he is wrapped in a t-shirt and towel. He sits propped against a piece of luggage in the district hospital bed.
UNICEF Executive Director inspired by efforts to end malnutrition and stunting in Guatemala
TOTONICAPAN, Guatemala, 21 March 2013 – Amid the soaring mountains and natural beauty of Guatemala’s western highlands, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said he feels inspired by recent efforts to improve the country’s problem of chronic malnutrition and stunting among young children.
Food aid helps Malian refugees in Niger get through difficult times and tackle alarming malnutrition rates
MANGAIZE, Niger, 14 February 2013 – It is around midday at Mangaize refugee camp in the Niger, about 50 km south of the Malian border. Children are arriving at a feeding centre for their ration of nutritious cereal. Some are accompanied by their mothers, others by senior family members.
Three years after the devastating earthquake, a survey sheds light on the current status of children and women in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 14 January 2013 – For the first time since 2005–2006, Haiti has updated data on the situation of children and women, enabling analysis of the earthquake response and helping establish where and who the most vulnerable children are.
Syrian refugee children are dying, they are hurt and they need healing, says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore
NEW YORK, United States of America, 19 December 2012 – The number of Syrian refugees has risen to over half a million. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore has made an urgent plea for additional humanitarian assistance for women and children who have had to flee their homes – especially as winter has presented even more challenges.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and football star Leo Messi campaigns for an end to preventable child deaths
NEW YORK, United States of America, 14 December 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and football star Leo Messi makes an urgent plea to strengthen efforts in child survival to save the lives of thousands of children dying every year from preventable causes.
UNICEF and the European Union take action to tackle undernutrition in Asia and Africa
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 6 December 2012 – The European Union (EU) and UNICEF have joined forces to protect more than 30 million children’s lives by improving nutrition security in five Asian and four African countries.
Food crisis aggravates the already massive social challenges Lesotho faces
VAN ROOI, Lesotho, 28 November 2012 – Since losing her two daughters to HIV/AIDS – “this disease which is affecting everyone,” she says – 75-year-old Puseletso Tsiu has been forced to eke out a living for herself and her three orphaned grandchildren by doing piecework.
Hit hard by massive flooding for the third successive year, people of Pakistan's Sindh province have no respite
JACOBABAD, Sindh, Pakistan, 13 November 2012 – As the only breadwinner of a family of 13, Sikandar Ali is deeply concerned about the health and nutrition of his wife, nine children and two sisters. Although the family had hardly recovered from hardships brought by floods in 2010, widespread monsoon flooding has, once again, deprived him of his livelihood.
Months after famine conditions have ended, health centres across southern Somalia help children suffering from malnutrition
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 13 November 2012 – Ten-month-old Ifrah Mohamed Abdi was born as the first famine declared in more than 20 years in Africa held its grip on the village in which her family has lived for generations.
World Pneumonia Day places emphasis on biggest killer of children
NEW YORK, United States of America, 9 November 2012 – Monday, November 12th marks the fourth World Pneumonia Day. UNICEF is calling for a greater effort to eradicate the disease, which is the biggest killer of children under 5 years old.
CNN and UNICEF raise awareness of the silent emergency of child stunting
New York, United States of America, 16 October 2012 - CNN has partnered with UNICEF to put the international spotlight on the global crisis of stunting, or low height for age in children. About 165 million children under the age of 5 suffer from stunting, with more than 90 per cent of them living in Africa and Asia.
In Burkina Faso, a garden maintained by local women benefits a whole community
OUAHIGOUYA, Burkina Faso, 15 October 2012 - In northwest Burkina Faso, deep in the Sahel belt, a small oasis is beginning to take shape.
In remote regions of Bangladesh, community health workers break barriers to healthcare
SUNAMGANJ, Bangladesh, 3 October 2012 – Rita Rani Boidda walks for miles every day in Sunamganj district, in one of the most remote regions of Bangladesh. She goes from door to door, navigating narrow lanes under the scorching sun, in the pouring rain, sometimes along a flooded terrain.
Nutrition takes centre stage at United Nations headquarters
NEW YORK, United States of America, 27 September 2012 - Nutrition was the focus of a high-level event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at United Nations headquarters, New York.
In facing nutrition crisis, the Niger benefits from lessons learned
MADAROUNFA, Maradi region, Niger, 10 September 2012 - Ouma Abdul sits on a cot at the Madarounfa Pediatric Intensive Feeding Centre comforting her underweight 18-month-old daughter Nafiza. Despite the promise of a good harvest, hospitals and health centres across the country are filled to capacity with young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
Report on nutrition wraps up second regular session of the UNICEF Executive Board
NEW YORK, 17 September 2012—UNICEF Associate Director for Nutrition Werner Schultink outlined UNICEF’s nutrition work on the final day of the second regular session of the Executive Board.
In facing nutrition crisis, the Niger benefits from lessons learned
MADAROUNFA, Maradi region, Niger, 10 September 2012 - Ouma Abdul sits on a cot at the Madarounfa Pediatric Intensive Feeding Centre comforting her underweight 18-month-old daughter Nafiza. Despite the promise of a good harvest, hospitals and health centres across the country are filled to capacity with young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
Education a first step to improving nutrition security in Burkina Faso
OUAHIGOUYA, Burkina Faso, 10 September 2012 - A thin dusting of bright green shoots covers the sandy plains around Ouahigouya, in northwest Burkina Faso. Recent rains have broken a three-year drought, and vegetation in this arid region has come to life.
Survey results: Child malnutrition rates remain alarming in Chad
WADI FIRA, Chad, 30 August 2012 – The fire that broke out at the Biltine health centre in Chad’s Wadi Fira region was something these people could ill afford.
Nigeria battles a worsening malnutrition crisis
KATSINA STATE, Nigeria, 28 August 2012 - It’s 9 a.m., and already the soil is being scorched by the unforgiving sun. The landscape is bleached out with no shade. The only splash of color is provided by 10 yellow watering cans lined up neatly by the side of a muddy well. Next to them, Al Haji Yahaya and his young son are methodically filling them up with brown-coloured water from what is little more than a sandy hole.
As the food crisis in Mali worsens, UPS and UNICEF deliver humanitarian aid
BAMAKO, Mali, 21, August 2012 - On 16 August, a large M-11 jet airliner touched down at the Bamako-Sénou International Airport, as the United Parcel Service (UPS) made its first free-of-charge delivery to UNICEF Mali. As part of UPS’s efforts to help people in the Sahel affected by the food and nutrition crisis, 20 metric tons of supplies were delivered to Mali. The supplies are part of UNICEF’s emergency response to the food and nutrition crisis in the North of Mali, which has been complicated by a cholera outbreak and armed conflict.
Aid trickles into Somalia's drought hit Baidoa region as militant group Al-Shabaab moves out
BAIDOA, Somalia, 3 August 2012 - Until just three weeks ago, Nuriya Moallim and her family of nine children and grandchildren had managed to stay in their village in southern Somalia. Despite the failed rains and the drought of 2011, they persevered.
In Yemen, a community volunteer overcomes obstacles to helping malnourished children
HODEIDAH GOVERNORATE, Yemen, 31 July 2012 – Mona Ali Aiash, a community volunteer in Deer Aiash Village of Hodeidah Governorate, conducts bi-monthly house visits to families with children under age 5.
Field Diary: Recovering from a brush with death in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 25 July 2012 – In September 2011, two months after famine was officially declared in the Horn of Africa by the United Nations, I was in the southern region of Somalia – the hardest-hit area.
Outpatient services save the lives of severely malnourished children in Nigeria
KATSINA, Nigeria, 20 July 2012 – The first rains have arrived in northern Nigeria. Tufts of guinea corn are peeking out from the soil. Farmers are optimistic that this year’s growing season will yield good results – yet hundreds of children are packed into a community clinic near Katsina, seeking treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
In Ethiopia's refugee camps, life-saving assistance for Somali arrivals
DOLLO ADO, Ethiopia, 20 July 2012 – Mariami Ibrahim raised her hand in protest. “Never,” she declared when asked if she plans to return to Somalia.Ms. Ibrahim arrived in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, near the borders of Somalia and Kenya, twelve months ago, following a harrowing trek from her home near Baidoa, Somalia.
Daily hardship remains a way of life for many children in Somalia
BOSASO, Somalia, 19 July 2012 – A year after the declaration of famine in the Horn of Africa, 9-year-old Osman Adan Mohamed still faces daily hardship. Osman was displaced by the famine that hit parts of southern Somalia in 2011. Today he lives in the town of Bosaso and works on the street as a shoe shiner to support his mother and four siblings. He does not go to school.
One year after the declaration of famine, Somalia sees signs of progress
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 18 July 2012 – Dressed in helmets and body armour, UNICEF Emergency Specialist Maulid Warfa takes an armed convoy through Mogadishu, passing through the strategic K4 crossroads.
In north-western Pakistan, UNICEF provides safety and education for displaced children
Jalozai Camp, Pakistan, 17 July 2012 – Safia Bibi, 11, recalls the day her house in Khyber Agency was riddled with mortar shells and bullets.
In India, women-led self-help groups empower women and improve health
VALSAD, Gujarat, 16 July 2012 – Twenty-two-year-old Sharuben Kurkutiya feared her family would not be able to save the money needed to have her first child delivered at the local hospital in her remote village of Ozharaifaliya in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
In Yemen, therapeutic feeding centres treat child malnutrition, educate parents
SANA’A, Yemen, 13 July 2012 – Odai is recovering from severe malnutrition. At 4 years and 10 months old, he weighs a mere 10 kg. He had experienced bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea for weeks. Eleven days ago, his grandmother, Katiba, brought him to the therapeutic feeding clinic at Sana’a Sabeen Hospital.
In Yemen, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake calls for efforts to improve child nutrition and well-being
SANA'A, Yemen, 10 July 2012 – “Wouldn't you instinctively want to invest in hope more than horror?” These were the words of UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake during his three-day visit to Yemen this week.
UNICEF and partners support the distribution of food supplements for children at risk of malnutrition in Mauritania
KIFFA/BOUGHADOOUM, Mauritania, 9 July 2012 – At 8 a.m., 22-year-old Tahya Mint Bowbe, her 11-month-old son Cheikh and her 3-year-old sister Aminte Mint Bowbe waited in a queue of children and women at the health centre in Kiffa. They were there to participate in a malnutrition screening for children under age 5 and a blanket feeding program providing food supplements to all children aged 6 to 24 months.
In Ethiopia, health services are protecting drought-affected children from malnutrition
KORRE ROGICHA, Ethiopia, 3 July 2012 – Shilime Erbo, a single mother of two, sits outside her hut in Korre Rogicha Village, contemplating their family’s future.
UNICEF launches its largest-ever operation against malnutrition in Chad
MAO, Chad, 19 June 2012 – According to UNICEF’s estimates, 127,000 children will be at risk of severe acute malnutrition, a deadly condition, in Chad this year, part of the broader food and nutrition crisis afflicting the Sahel region of Africa.
Saving children from malnutrition in drought-affected Angola
LUANDA, Angola, 18 June 2012 – One-year-old Liliane Juelma was diagnosed with malnutrition in May. “She was with diarrhoea, vomiting, breathing problems and fever,” said her mother, Justina Cambovio, 25. “I had to rush with her to the hospital.” Liliane was admitted at the therapeutic feeding center in Huambo, Angola.
New survey shows rates of child malnutrition are decreasing in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 June 2012 – In March, slightly more than two years after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) supported the Ministry of Health’s national SMART nutrition survey.
Child Survival Call to Action summit closes with commitment to eliminate preventable child deaths
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 16 June 2012 – Ethiopia’s Minister of Health opened the second day of the Child Survival Call to Action conference in Washington, D.C, by encouraging countries to take ownership of new international momentum to reduce child mortality.
In Mauritania, UNICEF and partners provide integrated assistance to Malian refugees
M’BERA, Mauritania, 12 June 2012 – In February, 2-year-old Habibi was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo calls for help in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 11 June 2012 – As conditions in the Sahel region of Africa continue to worsen, international recording artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo has added her voice to the movement to save the lives of more than 1 million children under age 5 who are at risk of deadly severe acute malnutrition.
In Lao PDR, a UNICEF-supported workshop helps health workers tackle malnutrition
SEKONG PROVINCE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 11 June 2012 ¬– Nearly 40 local nurses and doctors have gathered at the Health Department in Sekong, a rural province in southern Lao PDR.
Donated UPS flight brings life-saving supplies to crisis-affected communities in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 6 June 2012 – Mauritania continues to face its worst lean season in years. Twenty-five per cent of households are food insecure, and 52 per cent of those are severely food insecure. Many children are now suffering from malnutrition and many more are expected to be affected before the end of the lean season in late September.
In Chad, finding long-term solutions to the nutrition crisis
MAO, Chad, 4 June 2012 – “My other children were able to walk when they were 8 months old, but not Ereta,” said Zaïnabou Mamataya. At 8 months, Ereta weighed only 2.6 kg and was admitted to hospital in Nokou, Western Chad's Kanem Region.
Nigerien women take the lead in implementing practices to protect their families during the nutrition crisis
GARIN GOULBI, Niger, 29 May 2012 – In Garin Goulbi, a small village more than 500 kilometres from Niger’s capital, women have taken the lead in protecting their families and community during the country’s dire food security and nutrition crisis, which has left more than six million people across Niger facing food shortages.
In Mali, community health programmes put malnourished children on the road to recovery
BAMAKO, Mali, 22 May 2012 – You wouldn’t think it to look at her, but Bintou Traoré is 18 months old. She is very small for her age because her little body has not had enough nutrients to grow normally.
Ewan McGregor issues appeal for the children of the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 21 May 2012 – As aid agencies warn of a major funding shortage for the crisis in the Sahel, actor and UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor has added his voice to those calling for more help for the region.
As nutrition crisis intensifies, Nigerien mothers struggle to save their children
NIAMEY, Niger, 17 May 2012 – In the nutrition ward of Niamey’s regional hospital, all the beds are full of children showing the familiar signs of severe acute malnutrition: severe wasting, skins stretched tight over bones. The room is silent except for the noise of a small fan and the occasional cry of a child.
In Maldives, UNICEF supports efforts by the government to fight malnutrition
MAAFUSHI, Maldives, 17 May 2012 – Fathimath Nafsa takes her 2-year-old son Ismail Nashiu to the local health center on Maafushi Island for a check-up. The doctors want to monitor his growth because he is malnourished and underweight. His mother is concerned that Ismail may not grow to his full potential.
Teaming up to turn the tide against malnutrition in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 11 May 2012 – Chronic food insecurity and malnutrition are mainstays of everyday life for thousands of families in Niger. Following the failed rains and poor harvests of 2011, the country is now in the midst of its third nutrition crisis since 2005.
In rural Ethiopia, UNICEF and ECHO support community-based nutrition services for children
HARAMAYA, Ethiopia, 9 May 2012 – At one month old, Hannan Mohammed Ibrahim lost her twin sister. Soon after, their mother, Sephora Adem, fell seriously ill.
Ten years after the historic UN Special Session on children, UNICEF marks progress in creating 'A World Fit for Children'
NEW YORK, USA, 7 May 2012 – This week, UNICEF commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of ‘A World Fit for Children’, a United Nations document committing the world’s nations to advancing the rights, welfare and dignity of children everywhere.
Social media campaign offers critical support to breastfeeding mothers in China
BEIJING, China, 4 May 2012 – When Xiaoyu Su, from Fujian Province, tried to convince her parents that her newborn daughter should be fed breastmilk and nothing else, she was criticized for being stubborn. Nevertheless, Ms. Su is proud that she managed to exclusively breastfeed her daughter for the first 6 months of life.
Preventing and treating malnutrition in DR Congo
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 4 May 2012 – “I am grateful for the miracle that happened to us,” said Mariam. Three weeks ago, she arrived at the therapeutic feeding unit in Camp Vangu, in Lumumbashi, carrying her 11-month-old daughter, Elaine. The little girl was too weak to even open her eyes.
Podcast #58: Mia Farrow on visiting the crisis-afflicted Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 3 May 2012 – Poor harvests, drought and high food prices, combined with increasing insecurity, have pushed the Sahel region into a malnutrition crisis. Some 15 million people in the region are directly affected, including over one million children under age 5 who are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition, this year.
Hunger a daily reality for South Sudan's children
TORIT, South Sudan, 2 May 2012 – There was only sorghum for lunch, but it didn’t make the preparation any simpler. In Illeu, a small town in Eastern Equatoria State, Anorina Kabaka first had to bring a bucket full of sorghum grain to be ground into flour. While waiting for the sorghum to be ground, she plucked tamarind nuts, which she would soak in water to flavour the meal. Once she had returned home, she lit a fire, set a pot of water to boil, and mixed the flour into a thick porridge.
Field diary: Journey to recovery from severe acute malnutrition in Niger
AGUIE, Niger, 1 May 2012 – Two-and-half year old Oumarou Seydou sat motionless in his mother’s arms. He was not smiling or crying. He did not move.
UNICEF partners with Viet Nam’s National Assembly to protect breastfeeding
DA NANG, Viet Nam, 1 May 2012 – In a record move to protect the breastfeeding rights of women and children, UNICEF and the National Assembly’s Institute of Legislative Studies have concluded a series of high-level consultative meetings in Viet Nam’s coastal city of Da Nang.
Mia Farrow appeals for aid on behalf of children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 1 May 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has issued an urgent appeal on behalf of a million children in the Sahel whose lives are threatened by severe acute malnutrition
Q&A with Professor Michael Golden: Tackling malnutrition in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, 30 April 2012 – In the world of nutrition, Professor Michael Golden is something of a celebrity. Mr. Golden is famous for his work in developing Formula 100 (F-100), the basis for therapeutic foods that treat malnutrition.
Selena Gomez calls for life-saving action on behalf of children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 19 April 2012 – Actress, recording artist, designer and UNICEF Ambassador Selena Gomez is lending her star power to UNICEF’s campaign to save lives in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa.
Scaling-up Integrated Community Case Management in Niger and Mali
MADAROUNFA, Niger, and KITA, Mali, 18 April 2012 – Globally, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria are the main killers of children, accounting for more than 40 per cent of child deaths. And in certain countries of sub-Saharan Africa, these diseases kill an even greater proportion of children. In Niger and Mali for example, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria cause 60 per cent of deaths among children under age 5, and malnutrition is an underlying cause in one third of child deaths.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director visits Niger, calls for swift action on crisis in the Sahel
MARADI/NIAMEY, Niger, 13 April 2012 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt called for urgent and enhanced action to save the lives of over one million children at risk of life-threatening severe acute malnutrition across the Sahel region. Ms. Brandt recently visited Niger, where an estimated 394,000 under-5 children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year.
In Chad, UNICEF and partners step up emergency response to food crisis
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 11 April 2012 – Khadija’s 6-month-old son, Nawal, had been suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea for days, but she thought it was related to his teething. Finally, when his fever did not go down, she brought him to a clinic in N’Djamena, where he was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition.
Micronutrient Days fight Viet Nam’s 'hidden hunger'
BINH THANH TRUNG, Viet Nam, 11 April 2012 – It is 7 a.m. and Binh Thanh Trung commune’s health centre is buzzing. Today is Micronutrient Day and over 700 children are expected to participate.
Families in Mali struggle to feed themselves as the crisis in the Sahel worsens
NEW YORK, USA, 9 April 2012 – It’s dinner time in the fishing village of Tako, and Mariam Dianapo is worried about how to feed her five hungry children.
In Uganda, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake addresses malnutrition at the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union
KAMPALA, Uganda, 5 April 2012 – An estimated 180 million children across the globe are stunted, the outcome of chronic nutritional deficiency during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
UNICEF Executive Director visits Chad to highlight looming crisis in Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 4 April 2012 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake has called for an urgent escalation in humanitarian efforts in the Sahel region of Africa to prevent the deaths of more than 1 million children.
In Uganda, UNICEF Executive Director Lake sees innovation in action, calls on global community to combat undernutrition
KAMPALA, Uganda, 4 April 2012 – The power of innovation to tackle major challenges took centre stage during UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake’s visit to Kampala this week.
UNICEF is raising funds to provide life-saving assistance to over 1 million at-risk children in the Sahel
NEW YORK, USA, 2 April 2012 – As the hunger season begins in the Sahel region of Africa, UNICEF is launching a massive fund-raising campaign to help the more than 1 million children in danger of dying from severe acute malnutrition.
In a major policy shift, mothers in South Africa are encouraged to exclusively breastfeed instead of using formula
DURBAN, South Africa, 30 March 2012 – South Africa has some of the highest rates of HIV prevalence in the world. Over a decade ago, to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding, the Government of South Africa rolled out a policy providing free infant formula for all HIV-positive mothers.
UNICEF assists families in tent cities after Tropical Storm Washi
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines, 28 March 2012 – Gina Ayop, 28, lives in a tent city on the outskirts of Cagayan de Oro with her husband and four children, including 3-year-old Mark Angelo. The family lost their home in Tibasak, Macasandig, during the flash floods that followed Tropical Storm Washi last December. They were lucky to escape with their lives.
In Mauritania, UNICEF and partners are providing critical assistance amid overlapping refugee and nutrition crises
FASSALA, Mauritania, 27 March 2012 – For Nanni Oueled Faghi and her 2-year-old grandson, Habibi, the journey from their home in Léré, Mali, to the border town of Fassala, Mauritania, was long and dangerous. By the time they arrived in Mauritania, Habibi was suffering from diarrhoea and severe malnutrition.
Mobile health teams bring medical care to pastoralists in remote regions of Ethiopia
MAYOMULUKO, Ethiopia, 26 March 2012 – As a new day breaks in Mayomuluko, in Fik Zone of Ethiopia’s Somali Region, health professionals loads their vehicle with supplies for the nomadic pastoralists who live in this remote district, where infrastructure and access to basic services are scarce.
UNICEF and partners prepare for the worst of the nutrition crisis in the Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 26 March 2012 – A time bomb is ticking in the Sahel. April marks the beginning of the region’s lean season. It rains only once a year in the Sahel, an arid region that stretches across eight countries in West-Central Africa.
In Niger, refugees from Mali are assisted with clean drinking water
MANGAIZÉ, Niger, 22 March 2012 – For the displaced families in the Mangaizé settlement site, located in a dry, empty stretch of the Sahel, access to clean drinking water is a matter of survival. Over 35,000 refugees and returnees have come to Niger seeking safety from the ongoing fighting in northern Mali.
Safe water remains scarce in Somalia, contributing to disease and malnutrition
MOGADISHU, Somalia, 21 March 2012 – A line of women and children curves around the wall of a defunct hospital, now home to an Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) in the Hodan District of Mogadishu.
In Niger, UNICEF and partners address the Sahel Region's looming food crisis
OUALLAM/ NIAMEY, Niger, 13 March 2012 – When Zelika, 2, was admitted to a hospital three weeks ago with severe acute malnutrition, her odds of survival were low. But her life was saved after intensive nutritional and medical care in a treatment centre in Ouallam.
Members of the Bureau of UNICEF's Executive Board assess programmes and progress in post-conflict Sri Lanka
COLOMBO/JAFFNA, Sri Lanka, 12 March 2012 – Families of children who disappeared during Sri Lanka’s 27-year-long conflict wait for news of their lost ones outside a UNICEF-funded Family Tracing and Reunification Centre (FTR) in the northern town of Mullaitivu.
UNICEF supports children and women displaced by insecurity in north-western Pakistan
JALOZAI CAMP, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan, 9 March 2012 – Ongoing insecurity in north-western Pakistan has caused thousands to flee their homes. Families are streaming into Jalozai Camp seeking shelter, support and food.
UNICEF and partners battle persistent child malnutrition in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 7 March 2012 – After the January 2010 earthquake destroyed homes and infrastructure in Port-au-Prince, a number of displaced families moved to an old private airstrip in the Carrefour neighbourhood, setting up tents between old planes and helicopters.
UNICEF races to prevent a major food crisis in the Sahel
NEW YORK, 24 February 2012 – UNICEF is racing to prevent a second major food crisis in Africa in less than a year.
Hunger season comes early for Chad's most vulnerable
N’DJAMENA, Chad, 22 February 2012 – At a medical clinic outside of Bol, a town in Chad’s Lac Region, I recently met Adama Abdulai – a 30-year-old mother of six. Her 3-year-old son Abdou was being treated for severe acute malnutrition; at eight kilograms, Abdu weighed roughly the same amount as his 9-month-old brother.
In Mauritania, help needed to protect children from emerging malnutrition crisis
GAET TEIDOUMA, Mauritania, 15 February 2012 – Each year, the period between the rains and the new harvest is a lean season, when mothers like Fatima Mohammed struggle to feed their children – in Ms. Mohammed’s case, seven of them.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow visits malnourished children in Chad
MAO, Chad, 15 February 2012 – A layer of dust cloaks the horizon around Mao, a town in Western Chad, deep in the Sahel region of Africa. Rain hasn't fallen in years, and four seasons of crops have failed. Animals have long been dying here, but lately, children have too.
UNICEF provides emergency support for displaced families in Niger
MANGAIZÉ, Niger, 15 February 2012 – As thousands flee into Niger to escape the ongoing conflict in Northern Mali, UNICEF, in partnership with the Government of Niger, NGOs and sister UN agencies, is stepping up relief efforts to respond to the immediate needs of displaced families.
In Niger, urgent measures needed to fight malnutrition among children
MARADI, Niger, 13 February 2012 – Four-year-old Bassira was motionless in her hospital bed while a tube running through her nose delivered nutrient-rich therapeutic milk to her body – treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
Food shortages force children to drop out of school in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 6 February 2012 – The effect of food insecurity on children’s health is obvious; children, particularly those under age 5, are vulnerable to life-threatening malnutrition.
In the Central African Republic, UNICEF expands a nutrition treatment center for severely malnourished children
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 1 February 2012 - About 100 malnourished children are admitted each month in the Bangui Paediatric Hospital, many of them requiring three to four weeks of treatment.
With cash transfers, UNICEF and partners aid drought-affected families in Niger
GAWOUNAWA, Niger, 27 January 2012 – At the end of the farming season, Halima Isaka sat with her 10-month-old daughter at the edge of their family’s field, watching as her husband loaded a pile of dried millet stalks onto an oxcart.
'Smart salt' reduces iodine deficiency in Ghana
BOLGATANGA, Ghana, 26 January 2012 – Joseph Opoku pointed to a plastic container in the local restaurant, called a chop bar, belonging to his grandmother, Gertrude Azasim. “That is the smartest salt in Ghana,” he said.
In areas once affected by famine, Ethiopia builds capacity to wipe out malnutrition
GETER MEDA, Ethiopia, 24 January 2012 – Seven-month-old Aynadis played with her mother, Seta Temesgen, as they waited to be screened at the Geter Meda Health Post. Several weeks ago, Aynadis was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition – a condition that can be deadly if untreated.
In Rwanda, community-based nutrition programmes are empowering communities to treat and prevent malnutrition
Gisenyi, Western Province, Rwanda, 23 January 2012 - In the busy lakeside town of Gisenyi, a UNICEF-supported therapeutic nutrition rehabilitation unit is helping give babies a healthy start in life.
Malnourished children receive help at UNICEF-supported nutrition centre in North Darfur, Sudan
EL FASHER, North Darfur State, Sudan, 18 January 2012 – Abu Badriya is a soft-spoken man with a face that lights up when he smiles. A traditional healer, or ‘faki’, by profession, he has become an unusual but important partner in the fight against child malnutrition in this part of Darfur.
In Haiti, an unprecedented expansion in nutrition services for children and women
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 January 2012 – In two cramped UNICEF tents in the middle of the General Hospital, Head Nurse Bluette Jean-Louis and Dr. Josiane Andrianarisoa attend to severely malnourished children. Many of them are ill.
Nutrition surveillance keeps malnutrition at bay in Peru
LIMA, Peru, 9 January 2012 – In the Andean community of Rosaspata, in Vinchos District, a community health promoter has invited children, their parents and a health centre representative to the local community hall for the area’s biweekly nutrition surveillance programme.
Increasing local capacity to end child malnutrition in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 4 January 2012 – More than 40 women, most of them cradling babies, sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the small waiting room of the Martissant Community Clinic. By day’s end, more than 150 women will arrive to see the clinic’s medical or nutrition staff.
Cash transfers transform lives of vulnerable children in Liberia
BOMI COUNTY, Liberia, 30 December 2011 – Despite immense hardships in her life, Sara Dennis, a mother of six in Bomi County, north-western Liberia, is in high spirits. “I am illiterate and so is my husband, however all my five school-age children are educated. And in a few years, they will have finished their studies and get prestigious jobs,” she said.
A 'children's crisis' unfolds in West and Central Africa's Sahel region
NEW YORK, USA, 27 December 2011 – Even as the battle against hunger continues in the drought-hit Horn of Africa, another crisis has begun to unfold in eight countries across West Africa.
UNICEF responds to extensive flood destruction in the Philippines
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines, 21 December 2011 – In a city devastated by floods and fatalities, the arrival of Christmas is the last thing on people’s minds.
Threat of malnutrition dire in Africa's Sahel region due to increasing food shortages
DAKAR, Senegal, 12 December 2011 – It’s not a tsunami or an earthquake – it is a predictable emergency. UNICEF estimates more than a million children under five will need to be treated in feeding centres for severe malnutrition in the Sahel region of Africa. It is a staggeringly high number, and there is little time to prepare.
Field diary: Marsupials are model mums in Ghana
TAMALE, Ghana, 7 December 2011 – Kangaroos were the last thing I expected to be discussing with my new colleagues when I arrived in West Africa last month. When I moved from Australia to Tamale to write about UNICEF’s work there, I had braced myself for the unfamiliar – villages of squat mud huts, gritty harmattan winds and the crackled sound of the muezzin’s call to prayer.
In wake of the floods, malnutrition threatens thousands of children in Pakistan
JAMSHORO, Pakistan, 21 November 2011 – Mohammad Ali, of Southern Pakistan, is not the world famous boxing legend, but a true fighter nonetheless. This Mohammad Ali is just two-and-a-half-years-old and from a small village outside of Jamshoro in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. He is winning his struggle to survive after nearly succumbing to health complications associated with severe acute malnutrition.
UNICEF aims to make nutrition a national priority in Niger
Kollo, Niger, 17 November 2011 – In the Integrated Health Center of Kollo, South Niger, a few women holding their emaciated babies line up in front of the out-patient therapeutic feeding center (CRENAS). Zelika Marou has four children. Today, she brought her 11-month-old daughter, Fati Hama, for her weekly consultation.
Ekalale’s story: Health outreach saves lives in Turkana, north-west Kenya
TURKANA COUNTY, Kenya, 17 November 2011 – Akal Longor has brought her son Ekalale on one of their regular visits to the Kakwanyang Dispensary and health outreach centre. Ekalale is about a year old and small for his age, but he smiles and even takes a few steps when his mother sets him down on the floor. He is recovering from severe acute malnutrition.
Medical supplies reach Kenya, with help from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
NEW YORK, United States, 4 November 2011 - More than 40,000 kilogrammes of medical supplies, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark helped to pack at the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen on Wednesday, have reached their destination in Nairobi, Kenya.
Zimbabwe launches health transition fund to revitalize care for children and women
MARONDERA, Zimbabwe, 2 November 2011 — In a move to revitalise Zimbabwe’s ailing health system, the Government, in partnership with UNICEF and international donors, has launched the Health Transition Fund to reduce the country’s high maternal and child mortality rates.
Q&A with UNICEF Somalia’s Hannan Sulieman: ‘It’s about children, no matter where they are’
NAIROBI, Kenya, 31 October 2011 – In a recent conversation with UNICEF.org, Hannan Sulieman, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Somalia, described the daunting challenges that face Somali children and families amidst the Horn of Africa’s worst drought crisis in decades.
UNICEF-supported Mother and Child Health Week reaches millions of children in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 27 October 2011 – Last week, Madagascar celebrated Mother and Child Health week, a nationwide health campaign supported by UNICEF and partners to address the lack of access to basic health services for mothers. The campaign sought to enable the delivery of high-impact, low-cost child survival interventions including vitamin A supplementation for new mothers and children under five, deworming and routine immunizations, HIV testing for pregnant women, and screening for malnutrition.
Plumpy’doz distribution fights malnutrition in Madagascar’s remote south
ITAMPOLO, Madagascar, 14 October 2011 – It is 7.30 a.m. in the village of Itampolo, on Madagascar’s remote south-west coast. Outside the village health centre, Tilda Rainivomalala, 35, is among a group of women and children waiting in the shade of a mango tree. She has 10 children, and today she has brought Mahatratse, one, and Momoni, four, to the health centre to be screened for malnutrition.
UNICEF-supported programme brings hope to severely malnourished children in Viet Nam
KON TUM, Viet Nam, 13 October 2011 – Two-year-old A-Thau lives with his family in a simple house in a remote village in Kon Tum – a central highland province of Viet Nam. The smallest of six children, he is mainly looked after by his elder siblings, as his parents are too busy working in the fields to care for him all the time. Low birth weight and a lack of nutritious food resulted in recurrent illness and when his parents eventually brought him to the district hospital with a high fever and breathing difficulties, he was diagnosed as having pneumonia and severe acute malnutrition.
Former president fights against childhood malnutrition in West Africa
DAKAR, Senegal, 16 September 2011 – Former President of Cape Verde, António Manuel Mascarenhas Gomes Monteiro has made it his mission to make the fight against childhood malnutrition a priority in West Africa. Advocating directly with leaders of West African nations, he aims to place nutrition at the heart of development strategies and advise on approaches to secure policy focus.
High-profile Iranian actresses promote breastfeeding in 'Talk to Me' campaign
TEHERAN, Iran, 7 September 2011 – The three-year-old girl with a pair of lace wings runs around the coffee table with her five-year-old brother, laughing out loud, as the camera crew sets up lights and equipment around the apartment. The children’s mother, film actress Leila Hatami, asks them to go and play in their room while she offers pastries and tea to the crew.
In a Kenyan district hard-hit by drought, children survive on one meal a day
WAJIR DISTRICT, Kenya, 26 August 2011 – Either let through by the bigger children, or squeezing through unnoticed, many of the smallest were at the front when head teacher Habiba Mohamed Shuriye gave the order to serve the lunch. Their assortment of bowls, cups and jugs – held out by small, eager hands – were first to be filled from the vats of steaming porridge.
Community-based nutrition programme targets children at risk in Ethiopia
KEBSO TEKOMA, Ethiopia, 25 August 2011 – Bedria Yuya has just learned that one of her eight-month-old twins, Hehumati Shemsedin, is severely underweight. The news comes during a monthly growth-monitoring session in her village in drought-affected eastern Ethiopia.
On World Humanitarian Day, the UN celebrates the extraordinary efforts of aid workers
NEW YORK, United States, 19 August 2011 - From the Horn of Africa to Haiti, Pakistan and Japan, millions of aid workers are working tirelessly to help those in need. They brave danger and take on the greatest risks in countries far away from their homes to help others rebuild their lives, survive war and battle disease.
Feeding centres aim to alleviate chronic malnutrition in drought-affected Djibouti
BALBALA, Djibouti, 17 August 2011 – At the therapeutic feeding centre of Balbala, on the outskirts of the capital city Djibouti, Abdelfattah, 20-months-old, stares suspiciously at the visitors who have just walked in.
UNICEF provides life-saving emergency nutrition intervention to drought-affected communities in Kenya
TURKANA DISTRICT, Kenya, 15 August 2011- At the paediatric ward in Lodwar District Hospital, the persistent rasping sound of babies coughing slashes through the stillness in the room. Admitted with a variety of different ailments, the toddlers and infants occupying beds at this unit in the northwest of Kenya all have one thing in common - malnourishment caused by the drought.
Ethiopian mothers struggle to feed their children amidst drought crisis
ODOLEKA, Ethiopia, 10 August 2011 – In a small farming community just outside the capital of Addis Ababa, Montegbosh nurses her 18-month-old son. Like many young mothers in this drought-inflicted country, she is opting to nurse longer - she simply has nothing else to feed her toddler.
Government of Japan supports therapeutic feeding to treat malnutrition in Ethiopia
FEDIS DISTRICT, Ethiopia, 9 August 2011 – Zara Ahmed is worried. The youngest of her seven children, 10-month-old Nayle Kelifa, has not been eating well and has lost a lot of weight. Drought in eastern Ethiopia has delayed the harvest of corn, peanuts, cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables that Ms. Ahmed relies on to feed her children.
Feeding centres treat malnourished children amidst famine in southern Somalia
NEW YORK, USA, 8 August 2011 – Habib Isack has left her home in Wajid, southern Somalia, for the first time – but not by choice. Drought killed her crops and her livestock. Sheer desperation drove her to take her children and set out on foot for Doolow, near the border with Ethiopia, in search of help.
UNICEF and partners work to break the cycle of malnutrition and disease in DR Congo
KALEMIE, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 5 August 2011 – For the people of Kalemie, living on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, water from the lake is a lifeline – but also poses dangers, especially to children.
Staff profile: UNICEF Yemen Nutrition Officer fights child malnutrition with a passion
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 August 2011 – “I graduated in Liverpool in 2006 with a Master’s degree in tropical paediatrics, and on graduation day, someone asked me what I thought I could do with such a degree in Yemen,” Dr. Rajia Sharhan says, laughing. “I replied that I was going back to treat the children that I once didn’t know how to treat.”
Community Based Nutrition programme holds off hunger in drought-prone Ethiopia
CHANCHO, Ethiopia, 4 August 2011 – Brightly clad mothers with babies strapped to their backs make their way to the centre of Chancho village, located in the Deder district of eastern Ethiopia. There, volunteer community health worker Kasim Jibral is setting up weighing scales for the village’s monthly growth-monitoring session.
Field diary: At a refugee camp in Kenya, a father's devotion helps his young son survive
DADAAB, Kenya, 3 August 2011 – Most of the Somali refugees crossing into Kenya to escape drought and conflict are women and children. Many of the families I see queuing at the Dadaab refugee reception centres are headed by mothers, grandmothers and older sisters. I often wonder where all the men have gone.
UNICEF supports fight against child malnutrition in flood-ravaged districts of Pakistan
NOWSHERA, Pakistan, 2 August 2011 – Since the floods destroyed his crops, Ibrahim, 36, a teacher and father of four, has been struggling to make ends meet for his family. Ibrahim’s two youngest children have been recovering from severe acute malnutrition.
Spreading the word about infant and young child nutrition in Uganda
KIBIITO, Uganda, 2 August 2011 – In the lush district of Kibiito, western Uganda, the morning mists have quickly burned off the banana-covered hillsides by the time mothers have lined up at a local health centre for check-ups. Some women carry children on their backs, wrapped tightly in a colourful tied cloth known as a kitenge. One mother simply balances her baby on her hip, casually shifting him from side to side as the line moves forward.
A greater humanitarian response is needed as crisis deepens in the Horn of Africa
NEW YORK, USA, 5 August 2011 – As the crisis in the Horn of Africa deepens, the United Nations has warned that all of southern Somalia could slip into famine in the next two months. Just this week, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declared that three new areas in Somalia have deteriorated into a famine situation.
In Ethiopia, UNICEF-supported programme fights malnutrition amidst severe drought
BELINA ARBA, FEDIS, 25 July 2011 – Genete Mohammed carries her 18-month-old daughter Iman to the Belina Arba Health Post in drought-affected Fedis District in Eastern Ethiopia for the weekly UNICEF-supported outpatient therapeutic programme (OTP).
UNICEF delivers crucial supplies as the situation in the Horn of Africa deteriorates
NEW YORK, USA, 22 July 2011 – A tragedy of epic proportions is unfolding in the Horn of Africa, where hundreds of thousands of children are facing death due to starvation. The disastrous combination of a paralyzing drought, skyrocketing food prices and conflict has left over 11 million people battling hunger to survive.
UNICEF responds to Horn of Africa food crisis that has left 2 million children malnourished
DADAAB, Kenya, 11 July 2011 – It was a difficult decision, but in the end Hawa Issak decided to leave her home. The drought had destroyed her family’s livelihood, her husband had left her and she was pregnant. She did not see any future in southern Somalia’s Gedo Region, so she joined up with six other families, hoping to find help in neighbouring Kenya.
South Sudan and UNICEF inaugurate a new ward at the country’s only children’s hospital
JUBA, South Sudan, 8 July 2011 - As South Sudan prepares for its independence, the opening of a new ward at a children’s hospital marks a small but significant step towards tackling the daunting challenges facing public health officials in the region.
Millions need urgent aid amidst drought, conflict and food crisis in the Horn of Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya, 5 July 2011 – More than 10 million people across the Horn of Africa are in dire need of humanitarian assistance due to a deadly combination of drought, escalating food prices and armed conflict. Among the most vulnerable are 2 million children under the age of five in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
Mobile clinics protect children from malnutrition in post-flood Pakistan
SINDH PROVINCE, Pakistan, 30 June 2011 – The battle against child malnutrition in Pakistan’s flood-affected Sindh Province is reaching even the smallest, most isolated villages with the help of UNICEF-supported mobile health teams.
Cash transfer initiative breaks cycle of poverty for families in the Philippines
PASAY CITY, Philippines, 29 June 2011 – Despite much discussed economic growth in the Philippines before the global recession, more than 40 per cent of Filipino households live on less than $2 a day. To break the cycle of poverty, the Government has launched a five-year-long conditional cash transfer programme known as the ‘Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programme’ or ‘4Ps’.
In South Africa, a neonatal care initiative builds health and saves lives
LIMPOPO, South Africa, 23 June 2011 – It’s a sad fact that 83 per cent of children in Limpopo province live in poverty. So you’d assume that Malamulele District Hospital probably performs poorly – especially since most of South Africa’s infant mortality rates are linked to district hospitals.
Basketball stars visit UNICEF-supported malnutrition treatment centre in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 14 June 2011 – UNICEF Haiti hosted National Basketball Association (NBA) Star and Sacramento Kings’ centre Samuel Dalembert and Nykesha Sales, a six-time Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star, in a visit to a malnutrition centre in a hospital still recovering from the January 2010 earthquake.
UNICEF-supported programme tackles malnutrition on tea estates in Sri Lanka
NUWARA ELIYA, Sri Lanka, 31 May 2011 - A new day beckons in central Sri Lanka’s tea estates. Mother-of-five and picker of tea, Marystella, is up at 5.30 am to prepare the family’s breakfast in their spartan, tiny house.
UNICEF-trained volunteers promote exclusive breastfeeding in Republic of the Union of Myanmar
PHYU, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, 26 April 2011 – Daw Than Than Sein, 62, has seen and done it all when it comes to child rearing. She is a mother of 10 and has eight grandchildren.
Health workers and community members work together to prevent child malnutrition in Ethiopia
DEDER DISTRICT, Ethiopia, 20 April 2011 – Sartu Abdela, a community health worker in the village of Oda Kebena, holds a meeting for mothers with children under the age of two in a local administration office. The mothers, wrapped in colourful outfits, have come for a monthly nutrition check-up for their children, who will be weighed and have their mid-upper arm circumference measured.
Fighting malnutrition and building capacity for child health in Haiti's camps
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 13 April 2011 – Thanks to UNICEF and its partners, many mothers in Port-au-Prince are now more aware of the dangers even mild malnutrition in early childhood poses to the mental and physical well-being and development of their children.
Report by UN agencies highlights food crisis in Democratic People's Republic of Korea
NEW YORK, USA, 7 April 2011 – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is running out of food. About a quarter of the population – some 6 million people – don’t have enough to eat, according to a new report by UN agencies. Nearly a million of them are children under the age of five.
UNICEF Executive Director sees progress of community-based programmes in Ethiopia
GONDAR, Ethiopia, 5 April 2011 – UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake visited a number of programmes that are following an equity-based strategy designed to reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable communities during his recent visit to Ethiopia.
Lake Chad's receding water level heightens risks of malnutrition and disease
BOL, Chad, 9 February 2011 – Yakowra Malloum commands respect as she enters the Sultan’s compound in the centre of Bol. Covered in a bright coloured scarf, with an intricate floral henna design running down her arms, she looks like many of the other women who have gathered in the later hours of a hot sunny afternoon. But this trained pharmacist, who has spent the last 20 years working with the Ministry of Health, is different.
UNICEF and partners respond to a drought and nutrition emergency in Chad
MAO, Chad, 24 January 2011 – After four weeks in a hospital feeding centre, Fatime, 5, weighs 7 kg – less than half what a child her age should weigh. This is good news.
UNICEF-supported health centres combat malnutrition in Niger
TAKIETA, Niger, 4 January 2011 – Seeking shade from the scorching midday heat, a small crowd of mothers who have brought their children in for malnutrition screening gather at the public health centre in Niger’s south-central Maradi Region.
In Somalia, UNICEF-supported programme treats malnutrition before it becomes life-threatening
HARGEISA, Somalia, 30 December 2010 – Salman Haji, 4, stands in the corner of a tin-walled hut, solemnly staring at the man in the white coat as he searches through an impressive amount of official looking paper spread across a large table in a seemingly random fashion. Eventually, a yellow medical card is found recording the details of Salman’s last visit to this mobile clinic, located on the outskirts of Hargeisa.
Community mobilizers help to fight childhood malnutrition in Somalia
HARGEISA, Somalia, 22 December 2010 – Halima Awali, 60, shushes the crowd of boisterous children gathered around her and proclaims, “I was there to bring almost all of these babies into the world.” Squinting into the fierce noon Somaliland sun, the smiling grandmother adds, “Now I am here to make sure all of them stay here.”
UNICEF trains health volunteers to promote exclusive breastfeeding in Myanmar
OKTWIN, Myanmar, 6 December 2010 – Bant Bwae Kone village in Oktwin township, located in Myanmar’s Bago Region, is one of the villages selected by UNICEF and the National Nutrition Centre (NNC) at the Ministry of Health in a new initiative to promote exclusive breastfeeding for infants and young children.
Nutrition in a time of cholera: A challenge for Haitian mothers and babies
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 6 December 2010 – In the cramped and squalid conditions of the tented city in Mais Gate, a camp for Haitians displaced by the January earthquake, baby Sebastian brings a sparkle to his mother Lucienne’s eyes.
Italian Goodwill Ambassador Roberto Bolle highlights malnutrition in Central African Republic
BANGUI, Central African Republic, 30 November 2010 – During a trip here in early November, acclaimed dancer and UNICEF Italy Goodwill Ambassador Roberto Bolle witnessed first-hand the malnutrition crisis afflicting children in CAR.
Inter-faith leaders advocate for breastfeeding in Nepal
KATHMANDU, Nepal, 30 November 2010 – Marking the recent World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, representatives of various religious faiths joined hands with UNICEF Nepal in advocating better lives for children around the globe.
UNICEF supports efforts to fight malnutrition in Pakistan's flood-affected Sindh Province
THATTA DISTRICT, Pakistan, 22 November 2010 – The devastating monsoon floods that recently affected more than 20 million people in Pakistan – including 2.8 million children under the age of five – have brought many underlying problems to the surface. In a country that already had alarmingly high rates of malnutrition, the floods have made the situation worse.
UNICEF supports Mother and Child Health Week amidst crisis in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 8 November 2010 – Volatiana Rafaramalala sat in the community hall of Ankazotoho Anosimahavelona, a neighbourhood of nearly 11 000 people, on the outskirts of Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo.
Promoting breastfeeding remains a top health priority in Syria
LATAKIA, Syrian Arab Republic, 21 October 2010 – Syrian mother Jenna Mouna is well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding her newborn. Having given birth in a UNICEF-supported baby-friendly hospital, she’s being well taken care of by healthcare workers trained in a 10-step programme designed to promote breastfeeding.
Young flood survivors in Pakistan face an uphill struggle against malnutrition
MINGORA, Pakistan, 13 October 2010 – Last month, Najma Syed Ali Khan, 19, brought her seven-month-old daughter Rukhsar to the Nutrition Stabilization Centre at Saidu Teaching Hospital here in the Swat district of north-western Pakistan. Distressed and confused, Najma learned that the baby was not only severely malnourished but also suffered from gastroenteritis.
MDG summit events close at UNICEF with a call to action on helping the most vulnerable
NEW YORK, USA, 23 September 2010 – At UNICEF’s closing event for the UN Millennium Development Goals summit last night, experts and world leaders gathered to highlight the importance of reaching the world’s most disadvantaged and hardest-to-reach children in order to achieve the MDGs with equity by 2015.
On day two, events at MDG summit spotlight HIV/AIDS, nutrition, partnerships – and equity
NEW YORK, USA, 21 September 2010 – UNICEF took part in a packed agenda of side events during the second day of the UN Millennium Development Goals summit, spotlighting progress made and challenges ahead on HIV/AIDS, child health and nutrition.
Micronutrient supplementation brings new hope for children in Nepal
PALPA DISTRICT, Nepal, 15 September 2010 – Leela Rana has been volunteering as a Female Community Health Volunteer for the past five years. In this role she provides counselling and basic health and nutrition services to members of her community.
UNICEF and partners help Lao PDR Government address ‘alarming’ malnutrition levels
VIENTIANE, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 14 September 2010 – UNICEF and partners have joined forces with the Ministry of Health in Lao PDR to address worrying levels of malnutrition among children living in remote areas of the country.
UNICEF and IKEA partner for healthier babies in Jharkand state, India
KHUNTI, India, 2 September 2010 – Bilkani Sangha shakes her head in amazement when she recalls how she first fed her newborn baby. She remembers dipping a cloth into warm goat’s milk mixed with honey and jungle herbs, then slowly dripping the concoction into her tiny child’s mouth.
Field diary: More efforts needed to help Somali families survive and thrive
BOSSASO and GAROWE, Somalia, 1 September 2010 – As soon as I arrived in Bossaso, the main port town located in northeast Somalia, the scorching heat, strong wind and barren plains brought back the memory of my past experience in Somalia.
In a programme expanding across India, UNICEF and IKEA provide life-saving supplements
PAKAULI, India, 24 August 2010 – With promises of “sweet, sweet,” health worker Rita Kumari eases a teaspoon of liquid into two-year-old Kajal’s mouth. “There now, little one, you will be safe and feel better,” said Ms. Kumari. The toddler swallows the last drops of the diluted zinc tablet, a supplement that will help her fight a potentially deadly case of diarrhoea.
Alongside Syrian health workers, UNICEF battles varied causes of malnutrition
AL-HASAKEH, Syrian Arab Republic, 18 August 2010 – Syria’s Al-Hasakah governorate is just minutes away from Mosul, one of Iraq’s most violent cities. Yet one of the biggest challenges facing children here is an alarming rise in malnutrition perpetuated by a constant drought.
A campaign to promote exclusive breastfeeding makes strides in rural Niger
GIDAN NAWA, Niger, 6 August 2010 – A quiet revolution is taking place in this dusty village in Niger. Everywhere you look – in the courtyards of family compounds, under the big tree at the village gathering place, even at the well as they gather water – women are breastfeeding their children.
In rural Ethiopia, health extension workers bring care to new mothers
WONDO GENET, Ethiopia, 5 August 2010 – Beaming with pride, new mother Martha Getachew arrives at the Wosha and Soyama village health clinic in central Ethiopia. She is greeted fondly by community health workers, known here as ‘health extension workers.’
UNICEF and partners respond as food crisis in Niger reaches a critical level
GAZOURA, Niger, 3 August 2010 – Much-needed rains have begun falling across this parched West African country, breaking one of the most devastating droughts in memory. But Niger remains in the grip of a severe food crisis whose effects have been especially hard on women and children.
A Chadian mother discovers the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding
SAHELIAN REGION, Chad, 3 August 2010 – Exclusive breastfeeding – one of the best ways to protect an infant’s health – means feeding a baby only with maternal milk from birth to six months, and giving it no other liquid. Breastmilk is easy for a baby to digest, fully meets its nutritional needs and protects against illness by transferring a mother’s immunity or disease resistance to her child.
In tea country, Indian mothers learn the importance of breastfeeding
DIBRUGARH, India, 24 June 2010 – Durowpadi Bedia, an ‘Angawadi’ community health worker at the Nahortoli Tea Estate in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, takes her job very seriously.
Health centres focus on treatment of undernourished children in Niger
MIRRIAH, Niger, 18 June 2010 – When Baraka, a young mother in Guidimouni, southern Niger, took her 13-month-old son Abdul to the local health centre, tests showed that he was suffering from severe acute malnutrition and malaria. He spent a week in an outpatient feeding programme but continued to lose weight.
In Liberia, UNICEF and partners take fight for better nutrition to community clinics
MONTSERRADO COUNTY, Liberia, 16 June 2010 – In an effort to reduce child mortality, UNICEF and its partners in Liberia are working with several community clinics to provide daily outpatient therapeutic feeding for children suffering from under-nutrition in several Liberian counties.
Bitter seeds: Addressing the most recent nutrition crisis in Niger
ANGALNADINAO, Niger, May 2010 – “This year’s harvest was disastrous,” says Ali, the Angalnadinao village chief. “No cowpeas, no millet, no peanuts – nothing, absolutely nothing, was harvested. A total crop failure.”
Amidst severe food crisis, health and nutrition centres support children in Chad
MOUSSORO, Chad, 27 May 2010 – Radié Hami holds her baby girl, Achta, close to her as they wait at the new Moussoro health and nutrition centre. The young mother is accompanied by her husband and an uncle. As a nomadic family, it is their first visit to the centre and their first time in town.
In drought-stricken Madagascar, community health agents save lives
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 26 May 2010 – Thousands of children were treated for severe acute malnutrition last year in southern Madagascar, where lack of rain and crop failures continue to threaten food security. Across the affected zone, more than 230,000 children under five years old remain at risk of malnutrition.
Scaling up therapeutic feeding as nutrition crisis deepens in Chad
MOUSSORO, Chad, 13 May 2010 – There was no question that 18-month-old Hissène needed treatment when he arrived at the nutrition centre in Moussoro, a dusty town in western Chad.
Severe food shortages in western Chad lead to rising malnutrition in children
MAO, Chad, 24 March 2010 – Adam Abdulai is just over a year old, but he can barely move, let alone stand up and walk. He and a dozen other emaciated children lie on mattresses at a feeding centre in Mao, western Chad, with their mothers and grandmothers watching over them helplessly.
Examples of 'positive deviance' in habits leading to malnutrition in West Bengal
DUMURDI, India, 11 January 2010 – Bharati Mandi walks to her local 'Angawadi' – a government sponsored centre for mothers and children in India – each day with her four-month-old son Biswajit and her three-year-old daughter Shampa. Together with other mothers, she prepares herself a healthy mid-day meal of lentils, rice and vegetables.
Rapid short message service speeds health data collection and feedback in Malawi
LILONGWE, Malawi, 05 January 2010 - The short message service (SMS) is proving to be a great ally in Malawi’s battle to contain malnutrition and improve the lives of the country’s children.
Community volunteers fight undernutrition in northern Cameroon
TCHONTCHI, Cameroon, 13 November 2009 – Almost 5 kilos underweight and too undernourished to walk, two-year-old twins Massing Esther and Tito Anna have to be carried everywhere they go in their home village of Tchontchi, in northern Cameroon.
Therapeutic feeding saves children’s lives in drought-stricken Ethiopia
ANJA JAFFA, Ethiopia, 13 November 2009 - Almaz Kare, 20, a mother of two, watches as her four-year-old daughter Masento finishes the sachet of ready-to-use-therapeutic food.
Mothers encouraged to breastfeed in aftermath of Philippines flooding
MANILA, Philippines, 12 November 2009 – Some seven weeks after Tropical Storm Ketsana – known locally as Ondoy – caused massive flooding in the Philippines, thousands remain homeless. Many of the displaced are families with young children, pregnant mothers and newborn babies.
'Tracking Progress': UNICEF report calls for urgent international action on nutrition
NEW YORK, USA, 11 November, 2009 – As the number of hungry and malnourished people passes 1 billion, a new UNICEF report identifies undernutrition as one of the major causes of death among young children.
Preventing bone disorders through better nutrition in Bangladesh
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh, 19 October 2009 – Five-year-old Jasmeen suffers from rickets – a preventable disorder caused by a form of malnutrition as a result of calcium deficiency which manifests as a softening of the bones. Her legs are severely deformed and bow the weight of her little body.
At Clinton Global Initiative, partners pledge new support for fighting zinc deficiency
NEW YORK, USA, 24 September 2009 – At the fifth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York, CGI hosted UNICEF and zinc industry partners today for the announcement of a unique effort aimed at eliminating zinc deficiency and improving food security in developing countries.
Mia Farrow highlights child malnutrition in Cameroon
BAZZAMA, Cameroon, 17 September 2009 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has been witnessing a silent emergency in Cameroon during a weeklong trip here.
UN report finds crisis in Somalia at its worst in two decades
NEW YORK, USA, 26 August 2009 – A new report confirms a stark picture of the situation facing children and families in Somalia, where UNICEF has been stymied in its efforts to slow a surge in malnutrition in parts of the country most affected by escalating violence.
UNICEF teaches importance of exclusive breastfeeding in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 3 August 2009 – “I do not have enough milk to feed my baby,” Arzo, 20, replies when asked if she will continue to exclusively breastfeed her newborn child.
Failure of seasonal rains leads to hardship and malnutrition in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 27 July 2009 – As world attention shifts towards environmental issues, the effects of climate change are being felt on the island nation of Madagascar.
In India’s Bihar State, economic crisis hits the poorest of the poor
BIHAR, India, 29 May 2009 – As the sun sinks into the horizon over the Kosi River in India's Bihar State, the scene is almost idyllic. Wooden ferries putter across the river as young boys wash buffalo and splash around in the shallows.
Ready-to-use therapeutic food helps save children’s lives in southern Ethiopia
BORICHA, Ethiopia, 28 May 2009 – Every week, mothers from the drought-affected villages of Ethiopia’s Boricha district bring their children to be weighed and measured at the Yirba Health Centre.
Food and fuel crises hit poorest families the hardest in Nepal
MUGU DISTRICT, Nepal, 18 May 2009 – Sitting in the smoke-blackened main room of her tiny house on a steep, parched hillside in Sawa Khola village, Nawa Dumchi Bikar is a worried woman.
International forum issues joint call for enhanced investment in micronutrients
NEW YORK, USA, 12 May 2009 – UNICEF is one of a wide range of development partners in the UN, academic, non-governmental and private sectors that today called on the world’s governments to invest more in life-saving vitamins and minerals to prevent illness, blindness and mental disorders that result from vitamin deficiencies.
Doubling efforts to address malnutrition among children in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 24 April 2009 – Drought is recurrent in the south of Madagascar. The last harvest was severely compromised by the lack of rain, and consequently, so was the capacity of households to feed their children.
Kyrgyzstan enacts law on flour fortification to fight ‘hidden hunger’
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 13 April 2009 – The Kyrgyz Republic recently became the 57th country in the world to approve legislation requiring flour fortification. Under the legislation, all flour producers in the country will have to fortify top-grade and first-grade flour with vitamins and minerals approved by authorized health agencies.
Ready-to-use food distribution campaign for vulnerable children in Somalia
BOSSASO AND BERBERA, Somalia, 16 March 2009 – At Buulo Mingis camp for the internally displaced people, located in Bossaso, in the north-east zone of Somalia, children and their caregivers have gathered to receive rations of Plumpy’doz, the latest generation of a ready-to-use food to prevent malnutrition among vulnerable children.
Help for displaced and malnourished children in Pakistan
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, 10 March 2009 – Ataullah cries as the nutritionist measures his upper arm. He weighs only 7.7 kilos, well under the recommended weight for a two-year-old boy. The nutritionist concludes that he is severely malnourished. His brother Matiullah, less than a year older, is moderately malnourished.
Republic of Congo launches 'roadmap' for flour fortification
POINTE NOIRE, Republic of Congo, 22 December 2008 – Congo has launched a 'roadmap' to reduce the prevalence of iron-deficiency anaemia among children and pregnant women by least 30 per cent by 2013. The goal is to be achieved through the fortification of wheat flour with iron and folate.
In DR Congo, community-based clinics lead the fight against child malnutrition
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 14 October 2008 – The locality of Binza Meteo is one of the poorest in Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo. The roads are in a bad shape, water and electricity are scarce and most people do not have a steady job.
As child deaths continue to decline, UNICEF calls for increased efforts
NEW YORK, USA, 12 September 2008 – Fewer children under the age of five are dying today than in past years, according to the latest data from UNICEF. Globally, the number of young children who died in 2007 dropped to 9.2 million, compared to 12.7 million deaths in 1990.
United Nations consultation examines human rights and the global food crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 29 August 2008 – By 2050, it is projected that the world’s population will top 9 billion. Meanwhile, pressure from the demand for more food is sending global food prices soaring.
Food interventions are crucial as Somalia faces ‘worst-case scenario’
BOSSASO, Somalia, 21 August 2008 – Malnutrition is the one of the biggest challenges facing Somali children today, and according to an upcoming UN report, it could be getting worse.
A Nigerian father shows his support for his wife’s breastfeeding
ABUJA, Nigeria, 12 August 2008 - He stuck out like a sore thumb amidst the more than three hundred women cradling their babies at the annual baby show.
Baby-friendly hospitals support exclusive breastfeeding in Tajikistan
Tajikistan, 7 August 2008 - Over the last decade, Tajikistan Breastfeeding Week has been made possible through the support provided by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Tajikistan and its partners. This year, in an effort to increase support from other channels, World Breastfeeding Week is promoting the global theme of, ‘going for the gold by supporting mothers to breastfeed’.
Swazi citizens and royalty stand together to lend support for mothers who breastfeed
MANTAMBE, Swaziland, 6 August 2008 – Swaziland’s strongest citizens stood up for its most vulnerable ones for the launch of World Breastfeeding Week. Wife to the Swazi King, Inkhosikati LaMbikiza, kicked off the seven-day celebration designed to raise awareness on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and to encourage greater support for mothers who choose to breastfeed their children.
Executive Director announces $3 million for Mozambican children affected by global food price increases
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 1 August 2008 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann. M. Veneman, concluding a three-day visit to Mozambique, announced $3 million in additional support for UNICEF’s nutrition programmes in the country.
In Togo, food insecurity makes exclusive breastfeeding more of a challenge
ZOWLA, Togo, 1 August 2008 – In this village in the Maritime region of Togo, Véronique the tailor is well known. It is not for her dressmaking skills that she is respected, but for her work as head of the local breastfeeding support group.
UNICEF and ECHO save Guinean children's lives with Plumpy’nut project
CONAKRY, Guinea, 23 July 2008 – Mamadou Cissé is two years old, but until recently, he weighed less than a third of what children his age should weigh. Approximately 7 per cent of children under the age of five in Guinea are severely underweight.
Attending to the needs of severely malnourished children in eastern Ethiopia
EASTERN HARERGHE, Ethiopia, 10 July 2008 – One month ago, Kimia Gotu, six-months pregnant and a mother of four, and her two-year-old daughter, Destu Omer Hassen, were sharing the grounds of the Baroda therapeutic feeding centre with 75 severely malnourished children.
Early detection and treatment of malnutrition in Togo saves lives
BOUGOU, Togo, 2 June 2008 – Hundreds of mothers wait in the early morning at a school in Bogou, holding their children and hoping to hear good news about their prospects.
UNICEF makes plea for additional resources to help stave off malnutrition in Ethiopia
SIRARO DISRICT, Ethiopia, 2 June 2008 – UNICEF estimates that 126,000 children are in need of urgent therapeutic care for severe malnutrition in Ethiopia, and this number is likely to climb as more harvests fail.
UNICEF readies for food crisis with unique basket of solutions for children at risk
NEW YORK, USA, 28 May 2008 – Prices of basic foodstuffs are rising across the globe, and with them the spectre of hunger on a massive scale. But where hunger can be battled with less than perfect solutions – as in Haiti, where some people must resort to eating mud cakes – the long-term effect of dietary compromise cannot.
Mrs. Ban Soon-taek visits a hospital's Nutritional Rehabilitation Centre in Accra
ACCRA, Ghana, 21 May 2008 – The wife of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, visited the Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital in Accra during a trip to Ghana recently. At the hospital, she lauded the efforts of health workers providing life-saving care for malnourished children.
UNICEF seeks additional funds to aid children affected by Ethiopia’s growing food crisis
EAST HARERGHE, Ethiopia, 19 May 2008—Ibro Bekeri Yusuf’s daughter Khesna, age five, is severely malnourished. He has carried her to the UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding unit at Bissidimo Hospital so that she can receive life-saving treatment such as therapeutic milk.
UNICEF seeks emergency support for Somalia’s undernourished children
HARGEISA, Somalia 15 February 2008 – They were noises Khadra Abdullahi knew all too well: first, the blast from a bomb; then the screams and the clanging of pots as she threw her family’s possessions into a bag and fled.
Uzbekistan fortifies foods to protect children against anaemia
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 4 January 2008 – Dilafruz Ashurmatova gently grasps the tiny thumbs of her five-month-old daughter, who smiles and tries to grasp her hands in return. Not long ago, even such a simple exchange was impossible.
Changing attitudes about malnutrition and gender equality in India
KOLARAS, India, 30 October 2007 – When nine-month-old twins Devki and Rahul were brought by their mother to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre in Kolaras, Rahul was a normal weight and size for his age, yet his sister Devki weighed just over half of what she should have. Devki’s condition was the result of severe malnutrition.
‘Breast crawl’ phenomenon benefits mothers and newborns
NANDURBAR, India – 8 August, 2007 – Early breastfeeding is a simple, natural way to ensure that a baby gets proper nutrition. But many women are not aware of the special value of breastfeeding. For them, it is often a struggle to breastfeed.
World Breastfeeding Week 2007: An early start on breast milk saves infants’ lives
NEW YORK, USA, 1 August 2007 – The results of a study conducted in Ghana show that breastfeeding babies as early as within the first hour of birth can save hundreds of thousands of infants’ lives in developing countries.
Malnutrition afflicts displaced children in camps in eastern Chad
KOUBIGOU CAMP, Chad, 5 July 2007 – The numbers keep growing, and growing fast. In 2004 there were 130,000; today, 240,000 Sudanese are in neighbouring Chad, having fled the fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Uzbekistan’s Health Week campaign educates 6 million youths on proper nutrition
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 26 June 2007 – In view of the urgent need to raise awareness about proper nutrition in children, a national campaign called Health Week was conducted this spring in almost 10,000 schools throughout Uzbekistan.
Supplementary feeding centres boost nutrition in Pakistan quake zone
NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE, Pakistan, 12 June 2007 – At the brand new supplementary feeding centre in Attarshesha, Salma, 22, checks Usman’s weight and height. The four-year-old boy stares at the ‘Lady Health Visitor’, his eyes wide open.
ECHO and UNICEF promote Plumpy’nut production to improve child nutrition in Niger
NIAMEY, Niger, 18 May 2007 – Two years after Niger’s severe nutrition crisis, the sight of undernourished children is less common than it was, but chronic malnutrition still affects more than 50 percent of the country's young children. And 10 per cent of Niger’s children suffer from acute malnutrition, even when the harvests are good.
Nutrition crisis undermines child survival in southern Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 14 May 2007 – Dr. Ranto Andriantsara hurried to his office when told that the team had just driven into the dusty compound that houses the Amboasary hospital. He looked startled, not quite expecting his visitors that early in the morning. Graciously, he ushered them in.
Malnutrition challenges child survival in Niger, despite recent gains
New York, USA, 23 March 2007 – In Niger, one out of five children dies before the age of five, and more than half of those deaths can be attributed to malnutrition.
UNICEF Representative cites challenges and achievements in DPR Korea
NEW YORK, USA, 15 March 2007 – UNICEF’s Representative in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Gopalan Balagopal, recently held an informal meeting at UNICEF headquarters in New York, highlighting the challenges facing the country’s women and children.
UNICEF Executive Director inaugurates Ethiopia’s first Plumpy’nut factory
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 21 February 2007 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman inaugurated Ethiopia’s first Plumpy’nut therapeutic food factory in Addis Ababa yesterday.
Death toll rises and children abandon school as Burundi food crisis deepens
NEW YORK, USA, 14 February 2007 – Hunger and flooding in Burundi have killed some children, have made more homeless and are keeping others out of school. Reports from a recent tour around six provinces show a mounting death toll from the crisis.
Nutrition survey checks on health of children affected by conflict in Sri Lanka
MULLAITIVU, Sri Lanka, 1 November 2006 – Three-year-old Kisharthan doesn’t quite know why he’s lying on his back on a wooden board. His father’s hand is on his head and a nurse is holding his feet. He looks alarmed and seems about to cry, but before he can start he is whisked up onto his feet again.
Outpatient therapeutic feeding improves child nutrition in Ethiopia
SIDAMA ZONE, Ethiopia, 25 October 2006 – Fifteen-month-old Shurube Hatiso plays on her mother’s lap as they await the child’s weekly nutritional and medical check-up. It is provided by the non-governmental organization Action Contre la Faim (ACF) with the support of UNICEF and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department.
UNICEF promotes exclusive breastfeeding to save children’s lives in Indonesia
FLORES, Indonesia, 17 October 2006 – With a broad smile and large, brown eyes, 15-month-old Filno seems the picture of a happy childhood. Unfortunately, the wispy-haired boy has rarely seen a healthy day in his life. Since he was four months old, he has suffered consistently from recurrent fever, influenza, asthma and a host of other health problems.
World Food Day: Protecting children from malnutrition
NEW YORK, 16 October 2006 – On World Food Day today, UNICEF is calling attention to the scourge of undernutrition that contributes to nearly half of all child deaths each year.
UNICEF mourns loss of Rainer Gross, a tireless advocate for child nutrition
NEW YORK, USA, 3 October 2006 – UNICEF is mourning the untimely loss of its Chief of Nutrition, Dr. Rainer Gross, 61, who died on 30 September.
Miss Ghana joins hands with UNICEF to advance child health and nutrition
GHANA, 2 October 2006 – I was elected Ghana’s beauty queen last year, but long before that moment, I knew that being Miss Ghana would be far more than just a title for me. The honour and privilege of winning the contest put me in a unique position to spend my time in service to others.
Cereal banks provide food security during Niger’s ‘lean season’
GUIDON GAZOBI, Niger, 29 September 2006 – The workday is long for the women and girls of Niger. It is still early in the morning when Mahou Abdou begins her daily chores – a series of strenuous tasks, all of which she will have completed before noon.
Nutrition education for mothers promotes child health in Burkina Faso
KOUDOUBMO, Burkina Faso, 21 September 2006 – In this village located in a remote area of Gourcy, Burkina Faso – one of the world’s least developed nations – a recently established nutrition rehabilitation centre is providing life-saving services to moderately undernourished children and their mothers.
Fight for survival: Saving undernourished children in Niger
MAYAHI, Niger, 18 September 2006 – Seven-month-old Ramanatou has travelled nine km with her mother to the Mayahi District Hospital in Maradi. She is suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting and a high fever. Unable even to digest her mother’s breast milk, Ramanatou is severely malnourished.
In Burkina Faso, breastfeeding programme works to lower infant mortality
KOUPELA, Burkina Faso, 4 August 2006 – In the heat of the midday sun on a busy village street, a young mother breastfeeds her three-month-old son. She knows it is the optimal source of nutrition for the child.
Regional Director visits community-based child nutrition centres in Burkina Faso
NEW YORK, USA, 3 August 2006 – UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Esther Guluma, is in Burkina Faso to witness firsthand community-based efforts to tackle child malnutrition.
Baby pageant in Sierra Leone: A new strategy to encourage breastfeeding
KONO, Sierra Leone, 2 August 2006 – Proud mothers jealously compare their babies’ layers of firm flesh, holding them up for the midwives and chiefs like prize bulls.
Vitamin A health campaign targets Zimbabwean children under five
HARARE, Zimbabwe, 27 July 2006 – To rousing applause Irene Mwedziwendira steps forward with her twins at a demonstration on the benefits of taking vitamin A. At just under 160cm, she is not a tall woman, and her strides are small. But their meaning is massive. She is a member of one of Zimbabwe’s largest religious sects – the Apostolic – which bans immunization for children. Mrs. Mwedziwendira’s steps are nothing less than a leap of faith.
Breastfeeding saves lives after earthquake disaster
NEW YORK, USA, 31 July 2006 – Breastfeeding gives children the best start in life. It protects them from diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections, and provides all the nutrients that newborns need to stay healthy and grow. If every child was exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, an estimated 1.5 million young lives would be saved.
Nourishing children affected by quake in Pakistan’s northern mountains
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan, 24 July 2006 – Young Raabya weighed eight kilograms when she was brought into a tent clinic for malnourished children. Her weight was that of a 10-month-old baby, but her actual age is 10 years old.
Both treatment and education fight child malnutrition in Comoros
ANJOUAN ISLAND, Comoros, 11 July 2006 – “Lack of knowledge is one of the most important reasons for malnutrition in Comoros,” says the head of the Domoni Therapeutic Nutrition Centre, Maissara Chaharmane.
Uzbekistan tackles iron deficiency
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, June 2006 – To reduce serious nutritional deficiencies among women and children, the Government of Uzbekistan, aided by industry contributions and international support, is implementing a national flour fortification programme that began in 2005, financed by a $2.8 million grant over a three-year period.
In Myanmar, 5 million children receive vitamin A
OKKALAPA, Myanmar, June 2006 – In a township outside Yangon, Myanmar’s capital city, health workers visit the home of Aye Aye Thwe and give her child a free dose of vitamin A.
Survey reveals high malnutrition rates among pregnant women in Kenya
NEW YORK, USA, 4 May 2006 – Pregnant women are showing even higher rates of malnutrition than children in parts of Kenya hit by the region’s worst drought in a decade. UNICEF nutritionists, who have surveyed remote communities in Moyale, Marsabit and Samburu districts, say their findings indicate an immediate need for more assistance to ensure the most vulnerable women and children survive what has become a chronic emergency.
Funds needed urgently to fight malnutrition in Mauritania
BRAKNA, Mauritania, 4 May 2006 – BRAKNA, Mauritania, 4 May 2006 – Emmenmnin Mini Ahmed Mamhoud is a young mother of three children, ages six, four and two. Just before she gave birth to her first child, Ms. Mamhoud and her husband decided to leave their traditional nomadic life. They fixed their tent in Bouhdida, a small town in Mauritania’s Brakna region, about 250 km east of the capital, Nouakchott.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman launches ‘Progress for Children’
NEW YORK, USA, 2 May 2006 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman says poor nutrition among children threatens to become a worldwide catastrophe unless urgent action is taken.
UNICEF ‘report card’ on child nutrition reveals millions dying, calls for action
NEW YORK, 2 May 2006 – A worldwide study released today by UNICEF reveals that some 5.6 million children die every year in part because they are not getting enough of the right nutrients. And 146 million children are at risk from dying early because they are underweight.
As the ‘hunger season’ begins in Niger, UN nutrition appeal offers hope for the Sahel
NIAMEY, Niger, 28 March 2006 – This is the start of the ‘hunger season’ for the Sahel – the vast parched region of West Africa that is one of the poorest on earth – and it is beginning to show in the faces of infants. In a bid to avoid a repeat of the 2005 nutrition crisis here, the United Nations today launched a funding appeal for approximately $92 million to cover the food and nutrition needs of Sahelian countries this year.
Quick response to food crisis saves the lives of undernourished children in Madagascar
VANGAINDRANO DISTRICT, Madagascar, 16 March 2006 – After 27 days of intensive care, therapeutic feeding and her mother’s bedside vigil, two-year-old Anastasia is finally recovering. Her eyes, once dull and sickly, are now full of life. She is almost unrecognizable as the little girl who could barely breathe when she first arrived at the health centre here.
Hungry for change: the fight against malnutrition in Timor-Leste
DILI, Timor-Leste, 25 January 2006 – Her eyes big and bright, Diana da Costa’s attention flits between the children playing among chickens in the dust outside her home, and her father who holds her tightly. Now approaching her second birthday, little Diana weighs only 6.5kgs – the weight you might expect for a six-month old baby.
UNICEF survey reveals continued high malnutrition among Niger’s children
MARADI, Niger, 21 December 2005 – This year, images of the gaunt eyes and scrawny bodies of Niger’s children shocked the world into action, taking relief supplies to the starving children. But the urgent need for food remains.
Niger: Food crisis may yet worsen
MARADI, Niger, 23 November 2005 – Startling new figures from Niger show that, since the worst of the food crisis in July, more than 12 per cent of the country’s children under 5 have been treated for some form of malnutrition. Humanitarian workers are warning that the crisis is not over; a new critical period is expected in January-March of next year.
Six million babies now saved every year through exclusive breastfeeding
NEW YORK, USA, 21 November 2005 – Fifteen years ago the Innocenti Declaration launched an initiative that would come to save the lives of millions of babies. It sought a commitment from governments to support and encourage exclusive breastfeeding, which UNICEF believes gives children the best start in life. And since the launch in 1990 global breastfeeding rates have risen by 15 per cent.
Child nutrition in Afghanistan: ‘My children are smaller than others’
KABUL, Afghanistan, 2 November 2005 – Rahera is seven years old and lives in the Kakoji district, about 40 km outside Kabul. She eats her breakfast of bread at around 7 a.m. every morning. One loaf must last Rahera, her parents and two little brothers for three days. There is usually no milk or sugar.
Myanmar: 5 million children get supplemental vitamin A to preserve vision and protect health
OKKALAPA, Myanmar, 27 October 2005 – In this township outside Myanmar’s capital Yangon, health workers visit the home of Aye Aye Thwe, and give her child a free dose of vitamin A. As Aye Aye Thwe nestles her child in her arms, a midwife gently pinches the boy’s cheeks and squeezes a few drops from a vitamin A capsule into his mouth.
World Food Day: Food is a right for all children
NEW YORK, 15 October 2005 - Today, hundreds of millions of people in the world are still suffering from hunger and malnutrition. October 16 is World Food Day, and UNICEF is calling on the international community to recognize access to food as a basic right for every child.
Community gardens provide food, income for families
AGADEZ, Niger, 14 September 2005 – Niger is struggling to cope with a nutrition crisis. But in the village of Alikinkin, community gardens are an oasis of beauty and a source of food, helping children avoid the worst effects of the crisis.
Goats for Niger villages help families cope with crisis
MARADI, Niger, 11 August 2005 – UNICEF is providing about 150 villages across Maradi region – the epicentre of Niger’s food crisis – with goats, to help families avoid the worst effects of the crisis. Mothers will have the means to feed their children better, as the goats provide them with milk, cheese, meat and even extra income.
Uzbekistan: $2.8 million for fortified flour will help fight iron deficiency
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, 11 August 2005 – With international support, the government of Uzbekistan has launched a $2.8 million flour fortification project, in order to reduce serious nutritional deficiencies among women and children over the next three years.
Liberia: Breastfeeding Week launched on civil war battlegrounds
ZORZOR, Liberia, 3 August 2005 – “Yoh, yoh,” UNICEF’s Henrietta Howard cried out in her native Kpelle language, summoning the audience’s attention in the traditional way. On cue, more than 200 women, many holding their infants, replied, “Yoh, yoh!” – kicking off World Breastfeeding Week in Liberia.
Breastfeeding: The best choice for babies
NEW YORK, 1 August 2005 – UNICEF and its partners, including the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the World Health Organization and international NGOs, are together celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, 1-7 August. Better feeding practices for children could reduce child mortality rates by almost one fifth.
India: Ban on production and sale of non-iodized salt will protect children
NEW DELHI, 24 June 2005 – In a move to protect the 25 million children born in India each year from brain damage and irreparable physical harm, the Government of India has reinstated a ban on the production and sale of non-iodized salt for human consumption.
Food shortages hit children in Niger
NEW YORK, 2 June 2005 – Hundreds of thousands of children in Niger are facing serious malnutrition because of food shortages. Swarms of locusts consumed the bulk of last year’s crops and livestock died from hunger and thirst because drought dried up pastureland.
Schools on the front line of the fight against iodine deficiency
TIRUNELVELI, India, 28 March 2005 - Vennila, a 5th grader in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, watches a plate of salt she has brought from home with intent concentration. The headmaster of her school also watches with concern, hoping for her sake that the sample will change colour, to purple. However, sadly for Vennila, the salt remains obstinately white.
Vitamin A campaign reaches 18 million to help recover from flood
DHAKA, BANGLADESH/NEW YORK, 10 November 2004 - More than 18 million children in Bangladesh have received potentially life saving Vitamin A capsules after floods this year destroyed crops and left large parts of the country without food. One million children already face acute malnutrition and the crisis could continue for another year unless further action is taken.
Iodized salt means a brighter future for Laos and its children
BAN THA, Laos, 5 August 2004 – Vanhdy and Soudsadi Keothaune have had four children together. Even though the children are all equally loved by their parents, they are not all equally healthy.
Breastfeeding could save 1.3 million infants each year
NEW YORK, 28 July 2004 – UNICEF is joining 120 countries around the world to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, which begins on 1 August.
The hidden hunger of the vitamin and mineral deficient child
UNICEF HOUSE 24 March, 2004 A new report launched today by UNICEF and the Micronutrient Initiative offers a global overview of vitamin and mineral deficiency - a public health issue that prevents a third of the world’s children from reaching their intellectual and physical potential.