An additional 10,000 children per month may die this year from malnutrition due to COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation Director-General said.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added that he expects a 14% rise in cases of severe child malnutrition or 6.7 million more people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
“We cannot accept a world where the rich have access to healthy diets while the poor are left behind… the rich can afford to stay home, the poor must go out to work,” he said.
He urged governments to work with the private sector and civil society to support sustainable food systems.
“Millions of lives could be saved if countries expanded childhood feeding programmes, reduced marketing of unhealthy foods and used fiscal policies to drive better food choices amongst consumers,” Ghebreyesus said.