Long after the earthquakes faded from global headlines, UNICEF continued working for children in Nepal. We kept saving lives by restoring water sources, supporting families through a freezing winter and helping communities prepare for future emergencies.
4. Millions of children could die from malnutrition
UNICEF is the largest buyer of therapeutic food, procuring an incredible 80% of the world’s emergency supplies. If UNICEF didn’t exist, hospitals, remote health clinics and mobile health teams would have gone without 33,000 tonnes of therapeutic food in 2016. And the 3 million children we helped recover from the deadliest form of malnutrition may not have made it.
Khadija is one of those survivors. She was starving when she arrived at a UNICEF-supported hospital in Nigeria. Her arm was barely wider than her mother’s thumb. “I fell sick myself and could not breastfeed,” said her mother. 20 days of therapeutic food and medicine saved Khadija’s life. She and her mum left the hospital with handfuls of therapeutic food to use at home until she recovered.
© UNICEF Nigeria/Commins
UNICEF has also made therapeutic food more accessible for everyone. Fifteen years ago, the world’s supply of therapeutic food came from a single European manufacturer. UNICEF helped bring production into lower-income countries where children were in critical need. By 2016, UNICEF worked with 18 manufacturers, many partners like the World Food Programme and saw chronic malnutrition recorded at its lowest level among children in history.