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UNICEF warns of critical funding gap for treatment of malnutrition in Afghanistan

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Kabul | May 11, 2023 11:39:59 PM IST
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Afghanistan warned of a critical funding gap to provide essential medical food for severe acute malnutrition in the country, Khaama Press reported.

Thousands of malnourished children in Afghanistan face severe consequences because of a critical funding gap, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Melanie Galvin, UNICEF's Chief of Nutrition, said on the organization's official Twitter account on Thursday that it urgently needs additional funding to provide severe acute malnutrition children with ready-t-use medical food (RUTF) and life-saving treatment.

Galvin noted that this year, 875,000 children in Afghanistan suffer from severe acute malnutrition. Without treatment, thousands of children are life-threatening, Khaama Press reported.

Severe malnutrition can be treated with RUTF, a "highly efficient and effective" treatment, "in as little as eight weeks," Galvin said. However, she noted that UNICEF lacked the USD 21 million necessary resources to purchase RUTF and train health workers across Afghanistan.

"In Afghanistan, we're facing a critical funding gap for ready-to-use therapeutic food. Without additional funds to stock health facilities with this lifesaving treatment, thousands of children could die from severe acute malnutrition," UNICEF wrote on Twitter quoting an Afghan woman.

This comes a day after the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed concern over running out of funding for humanitarian assistance in the country, Khaama Press reported.

With adequate funding, humanitarian partners can reduce large-scale hunger, prevent disease outbreaks & reduce the chances of women dying giving birth, OCHA said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the organization called for timely funding to support people in need. "The price of doing nothing has never been higher. Timely funding is needed to support people in need," it added.

The UN estimates that 28 million people in Afghanistan require humanitarian aid, and the Taliban's restrictions on women have worsened the situation, Khaama Press reported. (ANI)

 
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