Nutrition in emergencies

It is recognized that the forms and severity of malnutrition differ according to contexts; in particular, emergency and fragile situations require specific attention.

Hunger and malnutrition are key concerns for refugees and displaced populations, representing currently around 40 million people worldwide, many of whom  - infants,  children, adolescents, adults and older people - suffer from one or more  forms of malnutrition. Displacement itself can lead to food insecurity, as the journey is often long, difficult and expensive. Families left behind not only lose a source of income but may also incur debt to facilitate the onward journey of relatives.

The most commonly recognized micronutrient deficiencies across all ages are caused by a lack of iron, zinc, vitamin A and iodine. Although pregnant women, children, and adolescents are often cited as populations affected the most by hidden hunger, it impairs the health of people throughout the life cycle. The levels of malnutrition in emergencies depend on factors such as the degree of civil security, food availability and accessibility, access to health services, and adequacy of assistance delivery.

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