Brazzaville:Child malnutrition rates go above emergency threshold

Date: 
Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Brazzaville | UNIC Brazzaville

According to a recent study on food security in Pool and the neighbouring region of Bouenza, the global acute malnutrition rate among displaced children aged five or younger is 17.3%.

UN agencies in the Republic of the Congo have launched an emergency appeal of US$20,657,345. These funds are urgently needed to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced persons in the region of Pool over the next six months.

In less than a year, the number of displaced persons in this region of the Republic of the Congo has increased six-fold, from 12,986 persons in June 2016 to 81,000 in May 2017.

Funds from the appeal would also provide the essential food aid needed to reduce the elevated infant mortality risk that now exists in the region. According to a recent study on food security in Pool and the neighbouring region of Bouenza, the global acute malnutrition rate among displaced children aged five or younger is 17.3%, which is above the emergency threshold of 15% established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The results of the study also show that 51.3% of displaced households managed by men experience food insecurity, compared to 54.4% of households managed by women. Displaced families have to deal with difficulty accessing food and all basic needs.  Published on 23 June 2017, the study was conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Solidarity and Humanitarian Action, and the United Nations, with the support of the WHO.

For displaced persons in the region of Bouenza who have not received consistent humanitarian assistance, the malnutrition rate has reached 20.4%. This number is significantly higher than the malnutrition rate of 12.8% for displaced children in the region of Pool who have benefitted from some humanitarian assistance.

The UN is concerned that the food and nutritional situation is even worse in zones that are not accessible to humanitarian workers and which have not been evaluated.

Meanwhile, the number of displaced persons continues to grow, while living conditions deteriorate even further.