Malnutrition: Children

Department for International Development written question – answered on 16th July 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what guidance she has issued to her Department's country offices on the continuation of programmes treating and preventing child malnutrition during the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Prevention and treatment of malnutrition remains a priority for the UK as part of our commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, new-borns and children. Malnutrition undermines immune function putting children at greater risk of getting sick and dying. The indirect impacts of COVID-19 are expected to increase acute malnutrition by at least 10% resulting in at least an additional 90,000 child deaths. DFID teams have been provided with practical guidance on how to address malnutrition during the pandemic. This emphasises the need to maintain services to treat malnutrition and to support safe infant and young child feeding. It also emphasises the importance of social protection to help the poorest access nutritious foods and the need to protect the production and supply of nutritious foods.

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