In Haiti, the number of severely malnourished under-fives could more than double this year, UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said on Monday.
Some could die if they do not receive timely treatment.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, children’s lives in Haiti have been increasingly affected by rising violence, a lack of access to nutrition services and clean water
Haiti is experiencing extreme weather conditions including hurricanes as well.
The latest food insecurity data indicates that one in four Haitians is acutely hungry.
About 4.4 million people are estimated to be food insecure on the island today, including 1.9 million children, UNICEF said.
UNICEF added: the upcoming hurricane season is likely to worsen the access to nutritious food in the coming months.
“Severe acute malnutrition can and should be treated right now to save children’s lives in Haiti,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 2020, UNICEF, together with Haitian government and partners, treated 33,372 acutely malnourished children across Haiti, by providing nutrition supplies and medicines.
For 2021, UNICEF needs $48.9 million to meet the humanitarian needs of 1.5 million people in Haiti, including more than 700,000 children.
To date, the appeal has remained almost completely underfunded.