Mercy (30, black shirt with white and pink stripes) and her 4 sons Aondogu (11, red football shirt), Tergema (9, Light blue football shirt), Tersoo (5, green and yellow football shirt) and Terhemen (3, gray hoodie) drink unsafe water from the community's only water source. Mercy lost her 15-month-old baby daughter to diarrhoea in 2011. Ukyari is a community in Benue State, not yet reached by water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities and no improved water source. The community also has limited access to health care, and little or no vaccination. 12th January 2016. Copyright © UNICEF/Nigeria16/Matas

Life-saving food
for hungry children

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Too many children don’t have the food they need

Every minute of every day, more than 5 children die as a result of malnutrition, according to estimates.

Millions more live with the lifetime effects of not having the food they need to live and grow – physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

The start of a child’s life is a critical time. Without enough of the nutrients they need at this vital time, children’s bodies and brains don’t develop the way they should.


A health worker treats eight-month-old Ali in a Unicef-supported heath centre. Ali is suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Unicef/Al-Issa


Baby-Friendly Initiative - a newborn yawns. Unicef 2012 Jeffs

The first thousand days are the most critical in a child's life.
Unicef helps make sure babies get the nutrition they need during this vital time.

When children are malnourished, we provide emergency food

In fact, Unicef provides 80% of the world’s life-saving emergency food.

And we help families and communities keep their children healthy and well nourished, through education and by providing special supplements, supporting breastfeeding and making sure mums have enough of the right things to eat too.

By treating malnutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, Unicef has helped cut the number of children badly affected by stunting – children’s bodies and brains not growing the way they should – by nearly 100 million since 1990. But there is much more to do.

With your support, we can work towards putting an end to hunger so that every child gets the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong.

A donation to Unicef can help keep a child safe

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