The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said yesterday that it’s feeding Plumpy’Doz and high-energy biscuits to children in order to prevent malnutrition. Plumpy’Doz is an enriched peanut paste and the biscuits are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
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Plumpy’Doz is being used to treat malnutrition in Syria (World Food Programme)
As the war continues in Syria, so does the risk of deadly malnutrition for children. Special-nutrient rich foods, like those being distributed by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) can save their lives.
Spokesperson Laure Chadraoui told me last week that WFP is distributing “Plumpy’Doz for children, 6-59 months, residing in collective centers and Nutributter in the North east of Syria to children 6-23 months for the prevention of micro-nutrient deficiencies.”
Plumpy’Doz is a nutritional supplement designed for children most at risk of malnutrition. The Nutributter is described by one its producers as being like a “daily multi-vitamin in a peanut paste” for children 6 months to 2 years of age.
Both the Plumpy’Doz and the Nutributter are ready-to-eat foods specifically designed for areas suffering from conflict, disaster or extreme poverty. No cooking or special storage is required for this food to be eaten, making their distribution easier. A system of factories, including Providence-based Edesia, produce these miracle foods.
These foods prevent children from suffering malnutrition. Children under the age of five will suffer lasting physical and mental damage if they become malnourished. So this concept of prevention is so vital in terms of planning a humanitarian response in distressed parts of the globe.
Around 300,000 children in Syria will benefit from the Plumpy’Doz and Nutributter provided by WFP. The Nutributter is being donated by the United States as part of a continuing relief effort.
It’s critical that aid agencies maintain the pipeline of this food, especially in a crisis as desperate as the one in Syria. The hunger facing Syria is so severe that the needs of the population will grow as the conflict continues. With access to parts of Syria being restricted by the government it remains an unknown as to the extent of malnutrition in these areas. Much more food aid may be required.
It’s also less costly to bring in Plumpy’Doz and Nutributter earlier rather than having to resort to Plumpy’nut which is used to treat the most severe cases of malnutrition.
WFP relies on voluntary funding and needs around U.S. $30 million dollars a week to feed Syrian war victims. Decisions made by the U.S. Congress on food aid budgets will have a major impact on Syria and other war and disaster afflicted nations.
Plumpy’Doz and high energy biscuits are also being provided to Syrian refugee children in Iraq. Save the Children is also operating a large-scale infant and young child feeding program in Jordan.
originally published at the Huffington Post.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today that Plumpy’Doz, a food to prevent deadly malnutrition, is being used in war-torn Syria. Plumpy’Doz, a nutrient-rich peanut paste, is being deployed at health centers in Damascus. It will be distributed more widely in the coming days with the help of UNICEF.
Laure Chadraoui of WFP says the agency will soon have enough Plumpy’Doz to treat close to 100,000 children.
There are an estimated four million people displaced within Syria. They have lost everything. Their livelihoods are gone. Food production in the country has been stopped in many areas because of damage to factories. It is not safe for farmers to go to their fields. What food can be produced is very high-priced.
This hunger crisis is taking its toll on children. When food becomes scarce small children are most at risk for malnutrition, which can have deadly consequences at that age.
Without the right food, infants can suffer physical or mental damage which cannot be reversed. Plumpy’Doz, a food which requires no preparation or refrigration, is used to prevent this from happening.
Save the Children released a report that shows the horror of hunger unfolding from this conflict. The report states, “few displaced families have any food stocks at all. They are having to cut down on the number of meals they and their children eat each day.”
If this war continues more children will be at risk of starvation. Aid agencies, such as WFP and Save the Children, need steady funding to keep the humanitarian pipeline of food well stocked. They are feeding not only war victims inside Syria but around a million people who have fled to neighboring countries.
The World Food Programme has set up a Syria relief fund.
At an evacuation center in Metro Manila, a young beneficiary eats her first spoonful of Plumpy’Doz (WFP Philippines/Anthony Lim)
Flooding and conflict have displaced over one million people in the Philippines, placing children at extreme risk of malnutrition. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is providing aid to civilians including a peanut paste for infants called Plumpy’Doz.
Plumpy’doz contains special nutrients and is easy to distribute since it requires no refrigeration or preparation. This food prevents children from suffering the severe malnutrition which causes lasting physical and mental damage. Plumpy’Doz comes in a small container, ready-to-eat with a spoon.
A WFP report says that 22,000 children were provided Plumpy’Doz in the National Capital Region, Region III and Region IV-A, areas which had suffered massive flooding from storms.
Meanwhile recent fighting between the Philippine army and separatist groups in Mindanao has displaced 35,000 more people. WFP is including 2.7 tons of Plumpy’Doz as part of its relief supplies.
The conflict in this region has taken its toll on the population and prevented development. WFP says there is a “poverty incidence of 47 percent among the population and with six out of the ten poorest provinces of the country located in Mindanao. Other basic indicators such as the rate of primary school completion and stunting among children under five are significantly worse compared to the rest of the country.”
Plumpy’Doz, along with other foods to fight malnutrition among small children, are vital to defeating hunger worldwide. If applied on a wide-enough scale it can keep children from falling into damaging levels of malnutrition. Only if entire generations are spared the damaging legacy of malnutrition can peace, food security and development move forward.