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Report

An Untapped Opportunity: Simplifying and Scaling Wasting Treatment

52 million children under five suffer from wasting at a given time, drastically increasing their risk of death and long-term health and development issues while weakening their immune system and ability to fight off routine illness. Wasting is a neglected public health emergency responsible for nearly 2 million child deaths a year.  
 
We have the evidence and tools to mitigate the worst consequences of the crisis: a highly effective and easy to administer treatment, ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). Yet only 20% of children who suffer from wasting receive the lifesaving care they need due to a woefully underfunded and uncoordinated system. 
 
With sufficient resources, wasting treatment can be scaled to reach more children. A growing body of evidence indicates that innovations that enable scale, a simplified combined protocol, family diagnosis, and treatment delivery by community health workers are equally effective as traditional approaches in recovering children and more cost-effective, offering donors an opportunity to maximize the impact of their dollars.  
 
The $27 billion pledged at the December 2021 Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit provides a crucial opportunity to reduce child mortality and ensure that every child can access treatment. If donors and national governments commit at least $1 billion per year to scale up treatment coverage, we can provide children access to lifesaving care and extend treatment to millions more of children with wasting.  
 
Download the full report for policy analysis and recommendations.  

Available documents & links