Equity and Protection, World Food Programme, Public Library of Science, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Food Insecurity, Africa, South America

Organisations. World Food Programme WFP, Public Library of Science PLoS , London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine LSHTM
Period. 14 – 21 July 2020
  • The World Food Programme has identified 25 ‘hotspots’ where acute hunger is reached devastating levels. Most of the countries stretch between West and East Africa, while vulnerable populations in Latin American and Middle Eastern countries, where the pandemic has exacerbated income losses, disrupted supply chains that contributed to surging food prices. The WFP and FAO previously estimated that food security could increase by 81% this year to almost 270 million people. Every 1% rise in acute hunger also contributes to a 2% increase in refugee outflows, which further threaten vulnerable populations as well as regional stability. The UN released an updated COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan last week, with the $4.9 billion WFP response accounting for nearly half of the sum, and an additional $500 million special provision for the 25 hotspots most at risk of famine.
  • A new study in PLoS Medicine shows that combining severe and moderate acute malnutrition treatments into a simplified protocol could be as effective as traditional treatment while saving $123 per child. The ‘Combined Protocol for Acute Malnutrition Study’ was conducted by LSHTM, the International Rescue Committee and Action Against Hunger, and found that the combined protocol was 76.3% effective at promoting nutritional recovery, which is slightly better than the 73.5% for standard treatment. With 50 million children currently not receiving malnutrition treatment, the efficacy and cost savings could translate into program expansions, with three million child deaths a year are linked to malnutrition.

This development is part of the digest;