Tue 17 May 2022:
The cost of life-saving treatment for the most severely malnourished children is set to jump by up to 16% due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and pandemic disruptions, according to the United Nations’ children’s agency.
The raw ingredients of the ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) have leapt in price amid the global food crisis sparked by the war and pandemic, UNICEF said.
Taking to Twitter, UNICEF chief Catherine Russell wrote, “There is simply no reason why a child should suffer from severe wasting – not when we have the ability to prevent it. But there is precious little time to reignite a global effort to prevent, detect, and treat malnutrition before a bad situation gets much, much worse. “
There is simply no reason why a child should suffer from severe wasting – not when we have the ability to prevent it. But there is precious little time to reignite a global effort to prevent, detect and treat malnutrition before a bad situation gets much, much worse.
— Catherine Russell (@unicefchief) May 17, 2022
“The price of lifesaving ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is projected to soar in the coming months, placing even more children’s lives at risk,” UNICEF said.
The Children’s Authority further warned in a statement that with increasing pressures on food security, including climate change, the price hike could lead to “catastrophic” levels of severe malnutrition. “The world is rapidly becoming a virtual powder keg of preventable deaths among children and children suffering from waste,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.
Without further funding in the next six months, 600,000 more children may miss out on the essential treatment, which is a high-energy paste made of ingredients including peanuts, oil, sugar and added nutrients.
UNICEF said a carton of the specialised nutrition containing 150 packets – enough for 6 to 8 weeks to bring a severely malnourished child back to health – cost about $41 on average before the up to 16% price rise. It will need about $25 million to cover the added cost, the agency said.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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