End Wasting

The Issue

Today, issues relating to food security and global hunger frequently grab headlines. ‘Wasting’, however, rarely makes the front page.

‘Wasting’ is a sign that a child has experienced short periods of acute malnutrition, making their weight dangerously low for their height.

When children suffer from wasting, they are more susceptible to diseases and less likely to be able to fight them off, turning common illnesses into death sentences.

As a result, it is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths among children.

The Opportunity

As shocking as the tragic scale of the problem is the fact that this loss of life is entirely preventable. It is fully within our grasp to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) — a common and life-saving food that is used to treat severe malnutrition in children — has been shown to reduce mortality and lead to recovery in almost 80% of cases.
With just a drop in the bucket of official development assistance, $300 million or 0.1% of the budget, virtually every child could be reached with this lifesaving care.

And progress is being made...

In 2020, approximately 5 million children were treated with RUTF.

Still, twice as many children, desperately in need, went without care.

The stories of millions of children are ending before they can begin.

There is a happier ending we know how to write — we just need to pick up the pen.

Learn about other powerful strategies to combat malnutrition.

Photo Captions

Image 1 – ©UNICEF/Dejongh
Image 2 – ©WFP/Mahmud