Malnutrition an emerging threat amongst Syrian refugees in Lebanon

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Malnutrition has become a silent and emerging threat amongst Syrian refugees, especially children, according to a recent assessment by UN agencies in Lebanon.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP) conducted the nutrition assessment in October and November 2013.

In the Bekka Valley and the North of Lebanon, where the refugees have settled, the prevalence of severe acute malnutrition had almost doubled since the previous year, the evaluation shows.

UNICEF's Patrick McMormick has more.

"On the severe acute malnourished, we have got about 2,000 registered as being severely acutely malnourished. I don't have figures of the children who may have died as a result of malnutrition. It is often difficult to pinpoint the condition as simply a lack of food because the children often succumbed to other diseases as well. But we can take from this the situation is pretty serious."

The problem in Lebanon was related to the scattered communities across the region, making it difficult to locate the community and deliver food, McMormick said.

UNICEF estimates there will be 1.65 million displaced in Lebanon by the end of 2014, including Syrian refugees, Lebanese returnees and Palestinian refugees from Syria.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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