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By Andrea Andres
6 June 2023

In Somalia, Farxiyo never imagined a simple sachet would be key to her baby son, Abdula, recovering from severe malnutrition.  

“The day I admitted him [to hospital], he was very sick, and I was so worried. Now he is well,” says Farxiyo.  

A young boy sucking on a food sachet.
Baby Abdula is being fed ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) by his mother. Just five days ago, Abdula was in critical condition with severe acute malnutrition.
© UNICEF/UN0750402/Ekpu VII Photo

Abdula is one of the many children in Somalia affected by the ongoing malnutrition crisis, exacerbated by many factors out of their control, including years of conflict and the collapse of basic social services. 

With the generosity of our supporters, UNICEF can be there to give children like Abdula their best chance at surviving... and it's all thanks to a little sachet of 'peanut butter'.  

But first...what is happening in Somalia? 

A smiling baby holds onto a wooden bed frame.
One-year-old Obsinale is recovering from malnutrition in a hospital in Somalia.
© UNICEF/UN0663254/Sewunet

5,100,000

children in need of humanitarian assistance

478,000

children will require treatment for severe wasting

Right now, children in Somalia are suffering from the devastating effects of one of its deadliest droughts, ongoing conflict, and soaring food prices. Displacement and limited access to basic necessities like food, shelter, water, and sanitation have also led to a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. 

Between April and June of this year, food insecurity and malnutrition are expected to devastate millions of families, with 6.5 million people likely facing a food security crisis and 1.8 million children needing malnutrition care and treatment

These statistics are heartbreaking, and remind us all that there is so much more that must be done, especially for innocent children impacted in Somalia. 

A young baby wearing a red head scarf looks at the camera.
One-year-old Aisha is held by her mother, Isniino, at a hospital in Somalia.
© UNICEF/UN0750381/Ekpu VII Photo

For little Aisha, a critical condition of malnutrition forced her mother, Isiino, to take her to the hospital for treatment.  

With symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration, it was critical to treat Aisha quickly. After three days in the hospital with the proper nutrients, medicines and therapeutic milk formula, Aisha was on the road to recovery. 

"Before, I was fearing for the sake of my baby. But now, I am so happy that my baby is better."

Isiino
Mother of Aisha

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A life-saving sachet 

At UNICEF, we believe that every child deserves a chance to grow up healthy and strong. That's why we work to deliver life-saving vaccines, clean drinking water and therapeutic food to children and communities in countries like Somalia. 

One such item is Plumpy’Nut®, also known as ready-to-use therapeutic food.   

What does it take to beat malnutrition?

Did you know? A small sachet of nutrients and vitamins can bring malnourished children back to health in just 8 weeks.​

Enriched with vitamins and minerals, Plumpy’Nut® is often considered a superhero product to combat severe acute malnutrition in young children.

Just three sachets a day for six to eight weeks can be all it takes to save a child’s life. It is easy to use, store and doesn't need to be mixed with water, which is often scarce when drought hits. 

Plumpy’Nut® has meant the difference between life and death for millions of children like Abdula and Aisha in Somalia. 

For every child, nutrition 

A young girl licks food off of her face.
One-year-old Aysha feeds on ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) after being screened for malnutrition in Somalia.
© UNICEF/UN0727622/Sewunet

Therapeutic food is an incredible advancement that has saved the lives of millions of children worldwide by giving them the nourishment they need to thrive. However, there's still so much to be done and many more children to reach.  

With the rising cost of ready-to-use therapeutic food, and the need for it increasing in places like Somalia, we urgently need your support to ensure that we can continue providing crucial supplies to children in need.  

By making a generous tax-deductible gift today, you can help our teams on the ground fearlessly reach more children to receive crucial nutrients that will help them develop and grow. 

With your support, we can help them overcome the devastating effects of malnutrition. No matter what.  

A smiling young boy squeezes a food sachet. © UNICEF/UN0773115/

Help children like Abdulahi in Somalia

Did you know that $142 could help provide 252 sachets of Plumpy’Nut® to help save the lives of two children?