Global Malnutrition Fact Sheet 2021

August 23, 2021

Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.

By next year, nearly 14 million more children are likely to be severely malnourished because of the pandemic’s impacts.1 This means that 58.9 million young children—or almost the whole population of South Africa—will likely face life-threatening malnutrition if the global community doesn’t act. 

Nutrition has historically been a relatively low priority for country governments and donors.

Despite growing global recognition of the importance of maternal and child nutrition, investments in nutrition have only gone up by 7 percent in recent years (since 2015)2 —not nearly enough to address the problem. 

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