A Healthy Market Framework for Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF)

UNICEF has developed the first Healthy Market Framework (HMF) for the ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF) market, which underlines UNICEF’s responsibility to children and commitment to transparency and sharing in-depth market knowledge.Inspired by HMFs for vaccines and related products, the HMF for RUTF sets out details of market attributes and defines and rates these attributes in a global framework. The HMF also lays out the methodology and tools to evaluate market health, prioritize interventions and analyse trade-offs.Life-saving treatmentRUTF is a unique treatment for children suffering from wasting, the most visible and lethal form of undernutrition. These children have weakened immunity, are susceptible to long-term developmental delays and face an increased risk of death, particularly when wasting is severe.Treatment with RUTF has immediate, rapid effects on a child’s well-being, and can help reverse long term impacts of malnutrition. It is a life-saving treatment that reaches millions of children every year, helping to prevent deaths and supporting recovery.   World’s major buyerUNICEF is the world’s major buyer of RUTF, procuring approximately 80 per cent of the global supply from a highly diversified network of over 20 producers based on every continent to rapidly provide treatment for children close to those who need it.UNICEF assesses the market for RUTF as moderately healthy with many attributes assessed as achieved or partially achieved. Significant progress has been reached in recent years – including rapid scale up of supply – for the benefit of programs that treat children with wasting.The HMF will be reviewed every two years unless significant changes in the market – in supply or demand dynamics – call for a re-assessment.UNICEF is grateful to its many partners and stakeholders in nutrition and in the RUTF market for their contribution to the HMF.