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  • malnutrition treating food sachets
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Why are more children going hungry?

Even before the pandemic, hunger levels were at record global highs. Now, millions of children are facing a hunger crisis brought on by conflict, climate change, and COVID-19. 

Over 5.7 million children under 5 are a step away from famine. And the number is likely to keep rising over the coming months.

No child should ever go hungry. We’ve averted famine before and we can do it again - donate now to help.

What are Save the Children doing to help child hunger?

We must save lives and prevent hunger in the short-term, whilst making systems more resilient for the future. Our response is structured around these three critical pillars:
  • Working to make sure any child who is malnourished can get free treatment. A key part of this is supporting community health workers to deliver these services to poor and hard-to-reach communities. 
  • Protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, to help keep infants and young children safe from hunger and infection. 
  • Ensuring families have access to healthy and nutritious food and protecting livelihoods, so they can afford to put meals on the table.

Please donate to the East Africa Hunger Crisis today so we can reach children experiencing Severe Acute Malnutrition before it's too late

Which countries are most affected by the hunger crisis?

Afghanistan is facing its worst food crisis since records began. Over 22.8 million people have been pushed into severe hunger this winter. The country now has the highest number of people facing emergency levels of food insecurity in the world. This is the number of people who are just one step away from famine – and it includes 5.2 million children.

Our mobile health teams are working across Afghanistan to treat malnourished children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. We’re also working with partners to give cash grants to families, so they can buy food, medicine and other essentials.

Democratic Republic of Congo is facing conflict, economic challenges, and extreme weather events. 27 million people can‘t get enough food. 

When Coronavirus hit, we supported local health facilities to treat malnourished children and improve nutrition in the face of the pandemic. We’re working across the country to improve child protection, hygiene, healthcare, and nutrition.  

East Africa. Combined with the pandemic, countries across this region are facing droughts, flooding, desert locusts, political instability, conflict, and economic instability. 

Across East Africa, we’re: 

  • treating children with acute malnutrition, 
  • supporting families with cash transfers, 
  • promoting positive nutrition practices, and 
  • distributing emergency food assistance 

Please donate to the East Africa Hunger Crisis

North-East Nigeria’s three states have suffered ten years of violence and conflict. Alongside partners, we’re supporting livelihoods, treating malnourished children, and teaching parents how to spot malnutrition and help children get enough good food. 

Burkina FasoMali, and Niger. For decades, communities in the Sahel haven’t been able to get enough to eat. Climate change and COVID-19 have made the situation worse, and competition over land and resources has led to growing violence.

Alongside partners, we’re pushing governments to control the price of food and put in place social safety nets for the most vulnerable families. We’re also helping families access money and food, and teaching communities how to help children get a nutritious diet. 

Syria has suffered through ten years of war. And this war has caused inflation, job losses, and economic deterioration. More than half of the population can’t get enough food to eat. Almost a third of Syrian children are stunted. 

Together with our partners, we’re: 

  • providing counselling to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, 
  • teaching parents to spot malnutrition,
  • promoting positive eating habits, and
  • giving money and food essentials to families .

Venezuela’s economic crisis has been ongoing since 2015. Hyperinflation means most people can’t afford food and medicine, and millions have been forced to flee the country. And the impact of COVID-19 on jobs and support services means the situation is likely to get worse. 

We’re working with partners in Colombia and Peru to help children get good food and give families cash for essentials. And in Venezuela, we’re: 

  • supporting struggling children and families with food and nutrition supplements, 
  • teaching about good nutrition, 
  • helping schools and community kitchens provide healthy meals, and 
  • delivering cash grants 

Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The ongoing war has brought the country to its knees, and 5 million people are a step away from famine.

  • We support over two hundred health facilities across Yemen to deliver life-saving nutrition services.
  • Our teams of health workers and community volunteers screen children under 5 and pregnant and breastfeeding women for malnutrition and refer them for treatment in our clinics.
  • And we're giving families food assistance, livelihoods support, and cash grants.

What Is our Emergency fund?  

Our Emergency Fund not only enables us to respond immediately when a disaster strikes, it also allows us to respond to the countless ongoing crises around the world that don't hit the headlines.  

Whatever the disaster, thanks to our Emergency Fund, we can be by a child's side within days of a disaster striking - to help children survive and rebuild their lives, before it's too late.  

Help prevent more hunger

Millions of children are facing a hunger crisis brought on by conflict, climate change, and COVID-19.

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Page last updated January 2022.

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