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Unicef warns of severe malnutrition next year

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Unicef warns of severe malnutrition next year



BIKITA – United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Zimbabwe Chief of Communications, Yves Willemot has warned of severe malnutrition in Zimbabwe early next year as the effects of the Elnino induced drought gets to the peak.
He said it is better to prevent the ailment than to treat it.
Willemot told a group of journalists during a media briefing in Masvingo last week that the effects of climate change on children is increasingly getting severe hence the organisation is urging governments, development partners and private sector to prioritise children in their climate investments.
Apart from children under five, pregnant women and adolescents are also at great risk.
Unicef is already appealing for US$84,9 million to mitigate against the drought in Zimbabwe.
Willemot said the worst malnutrition is expected between January and March 2025 when most household stocks from previous harvests run out.
The drought will impact on children in a number of ways, including access to water, sanitation and hygiene, education opportunities, and health care.
In a quest to enhance the campaign to put children at the centre of climate investments, Willemot said Unicef is decentralising its engagements with the media hence the Press briefing for Masvingo journalists.
A recent Unicef report showed that there are 580 000 children in Zimbabwe living in severe food poverty and globally there are around 181 million children under the age of five who are in dire need of food.
After the briefing, Unicef took the group of about 15 journalists on a tour of Dewure 1 Rural Health Centre in Bikita where the organisation has made interventions to mitigate against malnutrition.
Dewure 1 Rural Health Centre sister in charge, Rambanapasi Haruvanzwi said a lot of children will suffer from Kwashiokor and become malnourished as a result of the drought.
A child that is malnourished is more likely to be prone to childhood diseases.

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