Continuing Care During COVID-19: Adopting Life-Saving Approaches to Treat Acute Malnutrition

International Rescue Committee
Publication language
Date published
19 Nov 2020
Working in conflict setting, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Food security, Health, humanitarian action

This policy brief is a part of a series of papers by the International Rescue Committee that are putting a spotlight on the realities of COVID-19 in humanitarian settings. The series explores the secondary impacts of the virus on people in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, and how the international community and national governments can best meet evolving needs.

COVID-19 is a health emergency, posing a tremendous risk to vulnerable children living in humanitarian and fragile countries. With food insecurity on the rise and loss of income related to government shutdowns, access to nutritious diets is declining. Compounded by overstretched health systems and a diversion of resources from essential health and nutrition services to respond to other aspects of the crisis, rates of acute malnutrition – also known as wasting – will inevitably increase.

Recognizing this new reality, nutrition programs must be adapted and adequately funded to ensure acute malnutrition can be safely and effectively detected and treated throughout the arc of this crisis. The International Rescue Committee has been at the helm of acute malnutrition treatment reform leading ground-breaking research that demonstrates it is feasible to simplify the way acute malnutrition is diagnosed and treated, enabling care to be delivered at home and in communities. As the global community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, these simple, life-saving approaches for treating acute malnutrition are more critical than ever.

International Rescue Committee