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Thousands of Haitian children facing malnutrition, death

April 1, 2024

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has voiced concern about the health and nutrition of Haitian children, following recent findings from analysis conducted by the Integrated Food Security Classification Framework (IPC).

The report points to  a 19% increase in the number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) so far this year in the French speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state. 

The analysis also shows that 1.64 million people face critical levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 4), increasing the risk of wasting and malnutrition among children, particularly in eight regions of the country.

It added that armed violence in the Artibonite and Ouest departments, which encompass the capital,  Port-au-Prince, has hampered the delivery of aid and shaken an already fragile health system, posing a serious threat to threatens the lives of more than 125,000 children at risk of severe acute malnutrition and related diseases.

“Violence and instability in Haiti have consequences that go far beyond the risks associated with the violence itself. The situation is creating a health and nutrition crisis that could cost to the lives of countless children,” said UNICEF’s executive director,  Catherine Russell.

“Thousands of children are on the brink, with vital supplies ready to be delivered if the violence stops and roads and hospitals reopen.This nutritional crisis is entirely man-made. Basic security conditions are urgently needed for the people of Haiti, for the vital services on which they depend to function and for humanitarian workers to reach the children and families who desperately need them,” she said.

Since January, the deterioration of security in Haiti has continued to worsen, with UNICEF being unable to store, deliver and resupply much-needed aid to the population and earlier this month, one of 17 UNICEF containers was looted from the Caribbean Port Service in Port-au-Prince.

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