Save the Children, an international child rights organisation, has reported that approximately 17 million children are anticipated to be born into conditions of hunger by the end of 2023.
News About Nigeria gathered that this represents a 22% increase from figures recorded a decade ago, equivalent to around 33 children every minute.
Save the Children, in a press statement released on Monday, attributed this rise to economic instability, conflicts, and recurrent climate shocks, which have collectively contributed to a devastating hunger crisis affecting various parts of the world.
The analysis indicates that Africa and Asia bear the brunt, accounting for 95% of the world’s undernourished births in 2023.
The child rights organisation pointed out that the escalation of violence in the occupied Palestinian territory was not included in the data, suggesting that the actual figures could be higher.
Economic instability, conflicts, and climate-related shocks were identified as primary contributors to the escalating crisis, jeopardizing the future of millions of children.
Save the Children called for urgent and comprehensive measures to address the root causes of acute food and nutrition insecurity.
The organisation emphasised the need to end global conflicts, tackle the climate crisis, and address global inequality.
It stressed the importance of building resilient health, nutrition, and social protection systems that are less vulnerable to shocks like COVID-19, conflicts, and climate crises.
Vishna Shah-Little, Regional Director for Advocacy, Campaigns, Communications, and Media for Save the Children in West and Central Africa, expressed concern about the impact of hunger on children’s lives, urging proactive measures to protect their childhoods and futures.
The organisation specifically called on world leaders to scale up low-cost interventions for preventing and treating malnutrition. This includes community-based treatment for acute malnutrition, support for breastfeeding, and investments in community and primary-level healthcare.
For countries where at least 25% of the population faces chronic hunger, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to have the highest number of babies born undernourished in 2023.
Approximately 1.5 million newborns in the DRC are projected to be born into conditions of hunger, the highest number recorded for the country since FAO records began in 2001.
The situation in Afghanistan is also dire, with the country anticipating the highest number of children born into hunger in Asia among countries with vast levels of undernutrition.