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.

Latest content relevant to Nutrition in emergencies

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The Sphere Project - Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response

01/01/2011 - The Humanitarian Charter and minimum standards reflect the determination of agencies to improve both the effectiveness of their assistance and their accountability to their stakeholders, contributing [...]

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UNSCN Discussion Paper - Water and Nutrition. Harmonizing actions for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and the UN Water Action Decade Progress for both SDG 2 and SDG 6 has been unsatisfactory, with several indicators worsening over time, including an increase in the number of undernourished, overweight and obese people, as well…
UNSCN Discussion Paper Urban-Rural Linkages for Nutrition. Territorial approaches for sustainable development The nutrition challenges facing the world of today are daunting. One out of three people suffers from at least one form of malnutrition, and current trends suggest this may increase in the coming…
UNSCN Brief “Non-communicable diseases, diets and nutrition” Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are now the leading cause of mortality worldwide; they are responsible for 70% of global deaths; equivalent to 40 million people. The health and economic repercussions…
Guidance Note on Integration of Nutrition in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (renamed Cooperation Framework) The purpose of this Guidance Note is to assist United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) with the integration of nutrition into the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework that…
UNSCN Discussion Paper - Schools as a System to Improve Nutrition Given the changing circumstances in the nutrition landscape, there is a need to reassess and reiterate the role of the schools in improving health and nutritional status of children. This discussion…