Saturday, August 20, 2022

Tigray's Critical Condition

 An update on the Tigray situation shows nearly one in three children under five are malnourished and the UN said urgent action is needed to prevent them from dying.

In the new emergency assessment carried out by the World Food Programme (WFP), 29% of very young children are suffering from global acute malnutrition (GAM). More than half of pregnant or breastfeeding women are also malnourished.

 Malnutrition rates of 15% or over indicative of an emergency situation where the humanitarian needs are critical. In one area of Tigray, 65% of children under five were malnourished. In another, the proportion was 55%, with 16% suffering from the more serious severe acute malnutrition. A malnourished child is estimated to be 12 times more likely to die than their well-nourished counterparts. 

Claire Nevill, a spokesperson for WFP in Ethiopia, said the figures were extremely worrying and likely to worsen. WFP’s funding to treat malnutrition across northern Ethiopia was “fast running out”, Nevill added.  There was no reliable data on mortality that would point to a famine declaration. “We just don’t know,” she said. “But we do know that the next three months [before the autumn harvest] are critical, and if we don’t scale up our response and get this food into the hands of communities now as the lean season approaches, people will certainly move closer to the edge.”

The WFP said, 5.2 million people – nearly 90% of the population – are now deemed “food insecure”, an increase of six percentage points on the last assessment. Out of this, 2.4 million people (47%) are considered “severely food insecure”, which WFP defines as having “extreme food consumption gaps”.

Tigray: almost one in three children under five malnourished, UN says | Hunger | The Guardian

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