A new report by UNICEF shows that the number of pregnant and breastfeeding adolescent girls and women suffering from acute malnutrition has increased from 5.5 million to 6.9 million since 2020 in 12 countries hardest hit by the global food and nutrition crisis.
The 12 countries, including Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen represent the epicentre of a global nutrition crisis that has been worsened by the war in Ukraine and ongoing drought, conflict, and instability in some countries.
The report titled, Undernourished and Overlooked: A Global Nutrition Crisis in Adolescent Girls and Women warns that the ongoing crises, aggravated by ongoing gender inequality, are deepening a nutrition crisis among adolescent girls and women that had already shown little improvement in the last two decades.
UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell says without urgent action from the international community, the consequences could last for generations to come.
According to the report, more than one billion adolescent girls and women suffer from undernutrition (including underweight and short height), deficiencies in essential micronutrients, and anemia, with devastating consequences for their lives and well-being.