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UNICEF concerned about increased child malnutrition in Haiti

Panama, Jun 3 (Prensa Latina) UNICEF's Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Jean Gough on Wednesday assured that the number of under-fives with severe acute malnutrition in Haiti could double in 2021.

In statements to the press, after concluding a seven-day visit to the Caribbean nation, Jean Gough announced that over 86,000 Haitian children could die if they do not receive urgent assistance.

Adding to this situation is the shortage of ready-to-use therapeutic foods in coming weeks due to lack of funding, whose fund amounts to US$3 million, Gough stressed.

She claimed that Haitian children´s lives are increasingly threatened by the combined effects of the pandemic, increased violence, extreme weather events and lack of access to preventive nutrition assistance and clean water.

According to UNICEF, 9.7% of Haitian children received no Covid-19 vaccine and 58% are not fully immunized, of which 42% live mostly in impoverished metropolitan areas with a high impact of violence.

This decreased immunization level caused an increased diphtheria cases and a greater risk of a measles outbreak, not to mention that these children are more vulnerable to suffering from or dying of acute malnutrition.

According to estimates from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, one in four Haitian children faces acute food insecurity, so that about 4.4 million people could be affected by its effects by mid-2021, of them 1, 9 million minors and teenagers.

pgh/Pll/oda / npg

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