The socioeconomic consequences of Covid-19 threatens the lives of millions of children, as food insecurity and the situation of hunger and malnutrition are exacerbated. Recently, several international organisations have made an appeal to try to alleviate this problem.
The latest report by The Lancet shows that there are serious risks to the survival of young children in low- and middle-income countries. Increased child malnutrition is particularly concerning, including emaciation due to the sharp decline in household income, changes in the availability and affordability of nutritious foods, and disruptions in health, nutrition and social protection practices. Regarding initial forecasts before the pandemic, it was estimated that Covid-19 will cause an increase of 14.3% in the prevalence of moderate or severe emaciation among children under 5 years of age. That is, 6.7 million more children under five may suffer from severe malnutrition as a result of the pandemic. 57.6% of these children are in South Asia and 21.8% in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that 10,000 more children will die per month as a result of hunger and food insecurity.
Four United Nations agencies have called for the adoption of measures to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on malnutrition and child hunger. According to the latest report published by the World Food Programme (WFP), 25 countries will experience devastating levels of hunger in the coming months due to the impact of the pandemic. The greatest risk is in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and Asia, according to the early warning analysis of critical points in food security
The number of people with acute food insecurity in these countries at risk could rise from an estimated figure of 149 million before COVID-19 to 270 million at the end of the year if emergency aid is not provided. Up to 6,000 children may die every day from preventable causes until the end of the year as a result of the effects of the pandemic on essential health and nutrition practices.