25 Sep 2021

CIFF and UNICEF partner to commit $100 million to tackle child wasting


On Saturday 25th September, during Global Citizen Live, we were pleased to announce a $50 million commitment to nutrition, which will be matched by a further $50 million from UNICEF – forming a fund to focus on the treatment, early detection and prevention of child wasting.


At any given time, an estimated 47 million children suffer from child wasting, the most extreme form of malnutrition, putting them at an 11 times increased risk of death compared with their healthy peers. Despite the fact that effective treatment for child wasting costs only around $100 per child, only an estimated one in four children suffering from wasting can access it. Covid-19 has exacerbated the problem, with a projected 9.3 million more children becoming wasted by 2022 due to food and health systems disruptions and the economic impacts.

That’s why CIFF is partnering with UNICEF to ensure this prediction does not turn into reality. Last year partners came together to develop the Global Action Plan (GAP) on Wasting, led by UNICEF. The resulting framework proposed a shift from focusing solely on treatment to a more holistic approach combining prevention, treatment and early detection. CIFF and UNICEF’s $100 million partnership will help deliver these plans. It creates a new ecosystem for wasting financing, allowing countries to unlock matched funding with domestic allocations for wasting treatment. The partnership will also fund the development of costed country roadmaps to bring prevention, early detection and treatment together within health systems. This effort will challenge the traditional perception of wasting interventions as stand-alone, emergency responses that run parallel to primary health systems. Instead, we will support a system change approach, working closely with governments to strengthen primary health and community systems to ensure that wasting prevention, early detection and treatment is integrated into routine services for children. 

Last month CIFF & UNICEF jointly raised a record-breaking $13 million from the public (with CIFF’s match fund) as part of the Soccer Aid for UNICEF campaign. This fund will also go towards child wasting initiatives.  

More needs to be done to stop children from facing the extreme consequences of hunger and malnutrition. This partnership is the beginning of a renewed fight against child wasting – a problem waiting to be solved. A call to action is being made to funders, governments, high net-worth individuals (HNIs) and everyone to join this fight against child wasting.