Child hunger is the biggest scandal of our time. More than 2 million children die every year because they can’t get enough to eat. Millions more live with physical disabilities or learning difficulties because their growth has been stunted by lack of food.

What is stunting?

Stunting (or stunted growth) is what happens to a child’s brain and body when they don’t get the right kind of food or nutrients in their first 1,000 days of life.

The damage is irreversible. That child will never learn, nor earn, as much as he or she could have if properly nourished in early life. 

A child needs good nutrition to develop, as much as they need clean water and education.

A stunted child is often inches shorter than a child who's had enough of the right kind of food. Their immune system is weaker, leaving them more vulnerable to disease. They're five times more likely to die from diarrhoea.

About 180 million children under the age of five suffer from stunting and are not reaching their potential.

It shouldn't be like this.

What's UNICEF doing?

UNICEF promotes breastfeeding and makes sure parents know how to feed their children the most nutritious food available. We boost maize and other foods with vitamins and minerals so children can get the nutrients they need. 

We treat children who are severely malnourished with live-saving emergency foods, and make sure communities receive the food and supplies needed so their children are well nourished.

Donate to UNICEF today

 
Eddie Izzard meets Howa and her child at Dadaab camp on the Kenya-Somalia border. It's just one of the places where UNICEF provides highly-nutritious foods to treat malnutrition in young children.  © UNICEF UK/Siegfried Modola/Kenya 2011
Eddie Izzard meets Howa and her child at Dadaab camp on the Kenya-Somalia border. It's just one of the places where UNICEF provides highly-nutritious foods to treat malnutrition in young children. © UNICEF UK/Siegfried Modola/Kenya 2011