The number of children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Haiti could more than double this year, warned Jean Gough, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, after a recent report, after a recent 7-day visit to Haiti.
Acute malnutrition in children under 5 has increased by 61% in the past year in Haiti. In 2021, an estimated 217,000 Haitian children could suffer from acute malnutrition compared to 134,000 during the same period last year, according to estimates in the Humanitarian Needs Overview. In the first three months of the year alone, the number of admissions of children with severe acute malnutrition to health facilities in Haiti has increased significantly by 26% compared to last year.
According to projections, more than 86,000 Haitian children under the age of five will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year, up from 41,000 last year, and could die if they do not. was not getting emergency assistance.
UNICEF is alarmed at the increase in malnutrition over the past year, and is concerned about the shortage of ready-to-use therapeutic foods in the coming weeks.
For 2021, UNICEF needs US $ 48.9 million to meet the humanitarian needs of 1.5 million people in Haiti, including more than 700,000 children, who have been significantly exacerbated by the pandemic of COVID-19. So far, this humanitarian appeal has remained almost completely underfunded.
There is a certain “donor fatigue when the country experiences a chronic emergency for years and years”, acknowledged Antonio Marro, UNICEF emergency specialist in Haiti, recalling that after the earthquake of January 2010 “many aid has arrived in Haiti”.