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One in four children under 5 are experiencing severe food poverty, Unicef warns

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q1269 (Published 10 June 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q1269
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

An estimated 181 million children aged under 5 globally—around one in four—are experiencing severe food poverty and are at risk of life threatening malnutrition, a report from Unicef has found.1

The report analysed the impacts and causes of dietary deprivation among young children across nearly 100 countries. It found that of those experiencing severe food poverty 65% lived in just 20 countries, with around 64 million in South Asia and 59 million in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Unicef executive director Catherine Russell said, “Children living in severe food poverty are children living on the brink. Right now, that is the reality for millions …

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