What’s inside this plastic wrapper has saved millions of children.
It’s not your ordinary peanut butter. It’s called Plumpy’Nut®, also known as Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food.
Many call it the magical product. It’s a high-energy peanut paste containing sugar, vegetable oil and skimmed milk powder, and enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Plumpy’Nut® is used to treat severe acute malnutrition in young children. Only three sachets a day for six to eight weeks can be all it takes to save a child’s life. In times of famine, drought, or conflict, Plumpy’Nut® is a true lifesaver.
Jenty’s journey to recovery
We first met 11-month-old Jenty in a nutrition centre in South Sudan. She is one of more than 4.4 million children in need of humanitarian assistance across the country due to prolonged conflict, climate change and food insecurity.
“It started with her having diarrhoea for several days,” says her mother, Margret. “She couldn’t keep what we were giving her, and she got malnourished.”
Margret took Jenty to a UNICEF-supported nutrition centre where she was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and has been part of the program for four weeks.
"[Jenty] very quickly got her energy back. You can see how much she likes it."
“Jenty didn’t have much energy back then,” says Margret. “She was given ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), and very quickly she got her energy back. You can see how much she likes it.”
Jenty is already a changed child who has energy to play and interact with people. She will continue to receive RUTF until the tape shows green and she has fully recovered.
There are many more stories like Jenty’s. In 2021, UNICEF treated more than 172,000 children in South Sudan for severe acute malnutrition.
Without this critical support, the brutal reality is that more lives would have ended before they have really begun. Please help us continue this life-saving work by purchaing a UNICEF Inspired Gift today.
Changing the world one Plumpy’Nut® at a time
Plumpy’Nut® has transformed the worldwide treatment of severe acute malnutrition – a major cause of death in children under five globally.
It is easy to use, store and doesn't need to be mixed with water, which is often scarce when drought hits. It is also inexpensive: just $65 can provide a child with six weeks' worth of this therapeutic food.
But perhaps the best part about Plumpy’Nut® is that it's enabled parents to treat their children right in their homes, rather than only in hospitals. And with UNICEF’s support, community health workers are being trained to identify symptoms of severe acute malnutrition in children.
UNICEF is the world’s largest buyer of therapeutic food, procuring an incredible 80 per cent of the world’s emergency supplies. We work with partners to urgently manage the treatment of millions of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition every year.
Plumpy’Nut® has meant the difference between life and death for millions of children like Jenty.
Therapeutic food is an incredible advancement which has literally changed the world. However, there's still so much to be done, and many more children to reach.
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