NEW YORK, Sept 23: According to a report released by UNICEF on Wednesday, children under the age of two are not getting the food or nutrients they need to thrive and grow well, leading to irreversible developmental harm.
The report titled “Fed to Fail? The crisis of children’s diets in early life” which was released ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit this week, warned that rising poverty, inequality, conflict, climate-related disasters, and health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, are contributing to an ongoing nutrition crisis among children.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said, “Poor nutritional intake in the first two years of life can irreversibly harm children’s rapidly growing bodies and brains, impacting their schooling, job prospects and futures. While we have known this for years, there has been little progress on providing the right kind of nutritious and safe foods for the young. In fact, the ongoing COVID-19 disruptions could make the situation much worse.”
In an analysis of 91 countries including Indonesia, Nepal, Malawi, Lesotho and Kenya, the report finds that only half of children aged 6-23 months are being fed the minimum recommended number of meals a day, while just a third consume the minimum number of food groups they need to thrive.