WFP / COVID-19 MALNUTRITION

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20-May-2020 00:02:52
Coronavirus (COVID-19) may push an additional ten million of the world’s children into acute malnutrition. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that the number of young children suffering from this life-threatening form of undernutrition could increase by 20 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. WFP

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Story: WFP / COVID-19 MALNUTRITION
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SOURCE: WFP /FILE
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NUER /NATS

DATELINE: 19 MAY 2020, ROME, ITALY /RECENT

SHOTLIST:

20 APRIL 2020, KOULABOI HEALTH CENTRE, BOKÉ REGION, GUINEA

1. Various shots, women washing hands
2. Wide shot, women waiting in distribution room
3. Various shots, women receive ration of CSB++ nutritious cereal

19 MAY 2020, ROME, ITALY

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Lauren Landis, Director of Nutrition, WFP:
“COVID-19 and malnutrition are a deadly combination. The virus can have a devastating effect on small bodies already weak from poor nutrition. During the pandemic, we see families struggling to provide nutritious foods to their children due to loss of income and disruptions in food markets. This could result in millions more children being pushed into a downward spiral of malnutrition and disease.”

11-13 MAY 2020, PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL, GHAZNI, AFGHANISTAN

5. Various shots, child being tested for malnutrition
6. Various shots, women receives nutritious food

19 MAY 2020, ROME, ITALY

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Lauren Landis, Director of Nutrition, WFP:
“Where malnutrition threatens the world’s most vulnerable children WFP remains at the forefront to prevent malnutrition, and to treat it. During the COVID-19 outbreak WFP starts by prepositioning stocks of specialized nutritious foods. Then we adapt the nutrition programmes to ensure better disease control as well as getting communication out to mothers and caregivers on good nutrition and hygiene practices.”

17 JANUARY 2020, AL SABAH HOSPITAL, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

8. Various shots, women with children sitting in courtyard
9. Various shots, child tested for malnutrition
10. Close up, malnurished boy
11. Med shot, Sarah with her two manlurished children
12. SOUNDBITE (Nuer) Sarah Nyak, 22-year-old mother of two:
“if my children survive, i want them to go to school and learn to take care of themselves.”
13. Close up, Sarah’s malnourished child
14. Tilt down, Sarah holding her child

STORYLINE:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) may push an additional ten million of the world’s children into acute malnutrition. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that the number of young children suffering from this life-threatening form of undernutrition could increase by 20 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-related lockdowns and movement restrictions are severely undermining livelihoods, exacerbating existing threats like conflict and weak health systems, making it especially hard for families in poorer nations to afford a nutritious diet.

“COVID-19 and malnutrition are a deadly combination,” said Lauren Landis, WFP’s Director of Nutrition. “The virus can have a devastating effect on small bodies already weak from poor nutrition. During the pandemic, we see families struggling to provide nutritious foods to their children due to loss of income and disruptions in food markets. This could result in millions more children being pushed into a downward spiral of malnutrition and disease.”

This year’s Global Nutrition Report highlights the inequalities inherent in nutrition, with stunting and wasting being most prevalent amongst the poorest communities. Malnourished children, especially those under five years of age, are at risk of being among the primary victims of the pandemic and its socio-economic fallout.

Twenty-two million children under the age of five and pregnant and nursing mothers rely on WFP to provide them with specialised food and micronutrients for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. WFP is working with governments to monitor populations vulnerable to COVID-19, adapting nutrition support where required. WFP is also working to ensure production of specialized nutritious foods is not disrupted by trade restrictions and is using its deep-field presence to pass information on COVID-19 to communities beyond the reach of fragile health systems.

Landis said “during the COVID-19 outbreak WFP starts by prepositioning stocks of specialized nutritious foods. Then we adapt the nutrition programmes to ensure better disease control as well as getting communication out to mothers and caregivers on good nutrition and hygiene practices.”

WFP projections indicate acute malnutrition in children under five could rise by 20 percent due to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on food security. This number is a result of food insecurity alone. Impacts from the closure of health facilities will increase the rates even further.

WFP urgently needs USD 300 million in order to scale up its response to prevent and treat acute malnutrition and improve nutritious diets of children.

Acute malnutrition is caused by inadequate food consumption or illness, or both, resulting in sudden weight loss that, if untreated, can lead to death.
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