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With the virus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people in the poorest countries—nutrition that provides the best possible immunity and strengthens resilience—is more important than ever.
Most at risk are pregnant women, infants, and young children. Without immediate action, experts estimate that an additional 10,000 children younger than 5 will die every month this year—four deaths per minute—because of the spike in wasting (life-threatening malnutrition) caused by the pandemic. Preventing such an outcome requires urgent U.S. leadership to make swift investments and take quick actions to protect the nutrition needs of the most vulnerable mothers and children around the world.
Good nutrition is critical for child survival, health, and development. It builds immunity, protects against illness and infection, builds resilience, and supports recovery. Of all deaths among children younger than 5, approximately 45 percent is attributable to malnutrition—either acute malnutrition or increased vulnerability to infections and other illnesses caused by malnutrition.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to double the number of people facing food crises, which will soar to 265 million in 2020 unless swift actions are taken, according to the U.N. World Food Programme. A rise in malnutrition is inevitable as the economic and health crisis becomes a global hunger crisis, and the secondary impacts reduce dietary quality, impair WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) practices, and threaten care services for mothers as well as the continuation of regular health and nutrition programs for children.
The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to double the number of people facing food crises unless swift actions are taken
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.