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Child hunger & malnutrition

Our child hunger and nutrition programmes reach millions of children every year.

There's enough food in the world for everyone. But poor breastfeeding practices, lack of support to women, poverty & rising food prices mean that many families simply can’t afford it.

At the same time, climate change threatens to increase the frequency of droughts and food crises.

Relentless hunger weakens children's immune systems and leaves them vulnerable to infection, disease and death. And for those who survive, malnutrition is a life sentence.

Nearly 1/4 children in the world today suffer permanent damage to their bodies & minds because they don't get the nutrition they need, often due to lack of breastfeeding practices.

We're committed to ending child deaths from hunger. Our teams provide skilled counselling, support on breastfeeding & complementary feeding, screening for malnutrition, distributing vitamin supplements & helping families improve their income.

And we're pioneering new methods of predicting food crises so governments can take action sooner.

Every child should have good food to fuel their imagination.

How we're helping Leolida and Lawrence

Lawrence and Leolida outside their home in Kenya

Leolida, 12 adores little Lawrence, just 18 months. He plays with him and looks after him when mum Jennifer is cooking or cleaning. He even shares his food with him, resulting in Leolida often going to bed hungry.

“Lawrence is my little brother that I love very much and I would do anything to help him,” says Leolida.

Leolida believes that playing helps to distract Lawrence from his hunger. “He is not hungry when you play with him, he is just happy" says Leolida.

Leolida and his mum haven’t had to cope with Lawrence’s illness alone. One of our community health volunteers, Mark, was on hand to diagnose little Lawrence and give him the antibiotics and highly nutritious food he needed to begin his recovery.

  • 45% of child deaths are linked to malnutrition. 
  • 823K under-5s' deaths could be prevented by improving breastfeeding practices.
  • In 2030, 129m children will suffer 'stunting'  as a result of hunger.

Here's a few of the things we're doing;

Northern Nigeria: Giving out small grants & dietary advice with DFID to help 60,000 pregnant women and mothers get the nutritious food they and their children need in their first 1000 days.

Niger: Tackling malnutrition in pregnant women & under 2s, focusing on breastfeeding and complementary feeding support. We're also teaching improved farming techniques & empowering women & girls to earn & save. 

South Sudan: Using community-based approaches to prevent malnutrition. We also run outpatient feeding programmes to help children stay healthy.

Yemen: Distributing food and cash grants to families. A major effort is to create safe spaces and provide support for mothers to breastfeed and improve the diet of their young children. The teams are also treating children for malnutrition.

Face-to-face with hunger

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