UNICEF feels the pinch of the food price crisis

Published on 28 January 2009

As Ethiopia struggled with high food prices and a lack of relief aid in 2008, the UN children's agency, UNICEF, initiated one of the biggest responses to fight severe malnutrition ever undertaken. [...] "The global demand for ready-to-use therapeutic food outstripped supply last year, which gives the sense of the scale of the need," explained Louis-Georges Arsenault, director of UNICEF's emergency programmes. The agency has had to intensify its nutritional interventions in 17 of the 27 countries identified as worst affected by the global food price crisis. This year UNICEF is asking for just over US$1 billion in its new global appeal, of which health and nutrition needs will take the biggest portion – 38 percent - to care for women and children in only 36 countries, "and UNICEF runs operations in 150 countries," Arsenault noted.

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