OPT:worsening malnutrition among children

Published on 21 April 2009

Rising poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in Gaza, compounded by the recent 23-day Israeli offensive, have increased the threat of child malnutrition, say UN agencies, health ministry officials and healthcare NGOs in Gaza. UN World Health Organization (WHO) officials are concerned by the warning signs, including rising malnutrition indicators - like increased cases of stunting, wasting and underweight children - and continuing high rates of anaemia among children and pregnant women. A Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Food Programme (WFP) qualitative food security assessment for Gaza in 2008 and early 2009 points to increasing food insecurity compared to 2007, said FAO food security adviser Erminio Saco based in Jerusalem; and according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) food acquisition and energy consumption in Gaza declined by 10 percent between 2005 and 2007.

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