Half of Afghanistan’s children under five expected to suffer from acute malnutrition as hunger takes root for millions. UNICEF and WFP representatives sound alarm on nutrition crisis for children and mothers.UNICEF
What we do
Gather and analyze data on undernutrition
To determine prevalence and the root causes of undernutrition in each province, we analyze both indirect and direct factors and conduct rigorous assessments. Gathering, analyzing, and sharing this data is essential to guiding an effective, relevant response.
Treat acute undernutrition
We refer acutely malnourished children who show signs of complications for inpatient treatment. We provide local, accessible, easy-to-reach outpatient treatment for acutely malnourished children without medical complications through a highly effective approach.
We work to prevent chronic and acute undernutrition through an integrated approach that addresses both the direct and underlying causes. In emergencies, we work to ensure that vulnerable children under five, pregnant women, and nursing mothers have access to supplementary food to meet their nutritional needs and prevent them from becoming undernourished.
We also work to educate and support mothers about the importance of breastfeeding for the first six months, and work to improve care and feeding practices to ensure that children from six months to five years of age receive adequate micronutrients and protein for healthy development. Our programs also provide pregnant women and new mothers with peer support groups, facilitated by heath workers, to encourage and promote good nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and care practices for mothers, infants, and young children.
Strengthen local capacity and build resilience
We train local health care workers and partners to screen and treat undernutrition, and we provide technical expertise and support to strengthen local health systems. In severe humanitarian emergencies, we sometimes directly deliver emergency nutrition programs to provide lifesaving treatment to acutely undernourished children, but our aim is to transfer our knowledge, work in partnership with communities, and strengthen what is already working via local health care services to ensure sustainable impact. We also work in more stable contexts, and after crises subside, to build communities’ resilience to hunger and mitigate the causes and consequences of undernutrition.