Impacts of COVID-19 on childhood malnutrition and nutrition-related mortality

Two commentaries were published in the Lancet sharing findings from the Standing for Nutrition Consortium analysis that estimated the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child wasting. 6.7 million additional children under 5 could suffer from wasting during the first year of the pandemic (i.e. a 14.3% increase in the number of children who are wasted) in the absence of timely action, leading to an estimated 10,000 additional child deaths per month during this same period.  The second commentary by the heads of UNICEF, FAO, WFP and WHO called for a $2.4 billion investment to protect children from and treat children with malnutrition, and calls for concerted action in 5 areas:

  • Safeguard and promote access to nutritious, safe, and affordable diets
  • Invest in improving maternal and child nutrition through pregnancy, infancy, and early childhood
  • Re-activate and scale up services for the early detection and treatment of child wasting
  • Maintain the provision of nutritious and safe school meals for vulnerable children
  • Expand social protection to safeguard access to nutritious diets and essential services

Access the first commentary    Access the second commentary