Why malnutrition is still a major problem in the world

We live in a world that is wealthier and more developed than ever. We can board a plane and cross the planet before the day ends. We can talk to family and friends continents away. We have resources and knowledge unimaginable to previous generations.

Yet hunger remains a daily reality for millions of people, particularly in developing nations. It impacts young mothers and children most severely – in fact, one in three child deaths is linked to malnutrition.

How is it that so many women and children still battle with malnutrition in this day and age?

Several factors perpetuate malnutrition. Natural disasters, many of them related to climate change, force families to leave their homes and land. Conflict also causes mass displacement and creates unstable economies and desperate communities. With no way to earn a livelihood, parents, many whom are already in vulnerable situations, can’t afford food for their children.

Malnutrition is more than lack of food, it means an absence of vital nutrients. When pregnant and breastfeeding women become malnourished, their unborn children and infants can’t develop normally. Children who lack diverse diets suffer from weakness, stunted growth, illness, and even death.

Especially tragic is a malnourished child’s loss of potential. Lack of nutrients can permanently impair a child’s ability to think and learn, which limits their opportunities and hope for the future.

The problem is urgent, but through your support, we’re providing a front-line response. In our programmes around the world, malnourished children and mothers receive life-saving relief in remote communities. Suffering communities receive emergency medical treatment and nutrient-rich food to prevent deaths and heal children. Mothers and communities are educated about the importance of hygiene, vaccinations, and diet diversity, which prevents malnutrition from occurring in the first place.

Beyond supplying emergency food and medical treatment, we promote better long-term health by equipping families to start abundant kitchen gardens. We teach techniques for farm renewal so that families can restore damaged land and produce crops for the future. Coupled with immediate food aid, these farms and gardens provide essential nutrients for malnourished families and help build resilience in otherwise very difficult circumstances.

So how can we respond to the malnutrition we still see threatening millions of lives today? We can hold on to hope.

Believe it or not, global nutrition is actually improving and the global community has made real progress towards reducing malnutrition worldwide. Efforts to treat, and more importantly prevent, malnutrition are being carried out every day in some of the toughest places around the world. Your support plays a vital role in these efforts. For that, we say thank you.

Thank you for your continued support. To support more communities struggling with malnutrition in places like Afghanistan and South Sudan, please consider making a gift today.