Since the January 2010 earthquake, nutrition has become one of the key priorities for UNICEF. This has led to significant human and financial investment, and the results speak for themselves. When compared with the 2006 EMMUS IV report, the 2012 EMMUS V shows that acute global malnutrition rates decreased from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, chronic malnutrition rates decreased from 29 per cent to 22 per cent, and rates of severe acute malnutrition among children under 5 decreased from 2.2 per cent to 1 per cent during this period.

5%

acute malnutrition rates among children under 5 in 2012

10%

acute malnutrition rates among children under 5 in 2005

Nutrition

Malnutrition is an ongoing problem among children in many developing countries, including Haiti. Malnutrition has a negative impact on the quality of life of children, with multiple consequences for their health, education and growth.

Context

The issue of malnutrition has always been a key concern. Malnutrition rates before the earthquake were alarming: a fifth of children under 5 were underweight and nearly a third were suffering from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition is the cause of 35 per cent of deaths among children under 5. In addition, 75 per cent of children aged 6-23 months and over half of pregnant women were anaemic.

Since the earthquake, UNICEF in Haiti has made nutrition one of its key priorities. This has led to significant human and financial investment and the results speak for themselves. When compared with the 2006 EMMUS IV report, the 2012 EMMUS V report shows that acute global malnutrition rates decreased from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, chronic malnutrition rates decreased from 29 per cent to 22 per cent, and rates of severe acute malnutrition among children under 5 decreased from 2.2 per cent to 1 per cent.

UNICEF’S Main Challenges

  • 5 per cent of children under 5 suffer from acute malnutrition.
  • 25 per cent of children in rural areas suffer from stunted growth, compared to 16 per cent in urban areas.
  • Nearly two out of three children aged 6-59 months (65per cent) suffer from anaemia.
  • Less than 40 per cent of children under 6 months are exclusively breastfed.

UNICEF’s Aims:

  • To increase the rates of children under 6 months who are exclusively breastfed from 40 per cent to 60 per cent
  • To reduce anaemia among children aged 5-23 months with the help of micronutrient powders
  • To maintain vitamin A coverage at over 80 per cent among children aged 6-59 months
  • To increase the proportion of households consuming iodized salt from 18 per cent to 30 per cent
  • To actively seek out cases of severe acute malnutrition and ensure adequate care for those affected. This includes children infected or affected by HIV and AIDS or cholera and children requiring emergency care.

UNICEF Action Plan

  • Provide technical support to the Ministry of Health (MSPP) in creating policies, guidelines and strategies for nutrition
  • Support the effective implementation of the national nutrition strategy for newborns and young children, including those infected or affected by HIV and AIDS
  • Provide technical and financial support to implement the programme combating micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia
  • Provide technical and financial support to implement the national protocol for the management of acute malnutrition
  • Appeal for the mobilisation of resources, and for other sectors concerned with nutrition to participate in a multi-sector platform

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