Protecting Milestones

For parents, seeing their child’s first smile, watching their initial wobbly steps, and hearing their child begin to form words are all precious milestones on the path to becoming an adult. But for children living in countries facing some of the world’s worst crises, malnutrition can put those precious moments at risk. In our Protecting Milestones appeal, we are asking supporters to stand with parents to help provide the solutions –whether it's new approaches to tackle acute malnutrition in Nigeria, postnatal care in Afghanistan, vaccines in Yemen or warm blankets in Syria.

When you give to our Protecting Milestones appeal between 3 May and 3 August 2022, the UK government and a generous IRC donor will triple the gift - meaning your donation will go three times as far. The funds provided by the UK government will go to a new programme to treat malnutrition in Nigeria. 

Malnutrition putting milestones at risk

For children living in countries facing some of the worst crises in the world -from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Syria to Yemen –malnutrition can put children's milestone moments at risk.

In northeast Nigeria, drought and conflict have created massive food shortages and parents struggle to provide food for their toddlers about to take their first steps.

In Afghanistan, instability has devastated the health system, leaving midwives without salaries and new mothers without postnatal care.

In Syria, continued attacks give parents only moments to leave their homes, often unable to pack their children's clothes, blankets or toys.

In Yemen, 148 hospitals have been destroyed since the fighting started in 2015, leaving many children at risk of getting sick and perhaps not living long enough to begin their education.

How the IRC is treating malnutrition

The IRC helps parents raise healthy children by providing support groups, training healthcare workers to diagnose and treat malnutrition and providing nutritious meal packs, offering education and more so kids are able to achieve key milestones and reach their full potential.

With every training, every vaccine, and every sachet of Plumpy'nut, another child is given the chance to reach their milestones and another parent is given the joy of seeing that happen.

In the face of adversity, parents do all they can to support their children so they can have their first smiles, take those first steps and go on to make their stamp on the world. Whether it’s IRC volunteers going door-to-door in Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, sharing the tell-tale signs for malnutrition, or the midwives in Afghanistan ensuring that mothers have access to safe births and their newborns are kept healthy at IRC clinics. Mobile health teams in Yemen are able to deliver more vaccines to protect children and have supported new mothers arriving in camps in Syria with baby kits filled with nappies, blankets and clothes.

Last year the IRC treated 161,000 children under five years old around the world for severe acute malnutrition.

How you can help

Donate to help children and families in crisis to survive, recover and rebuild their lives–and your donation will be matched by the UK government and a generous IRC donor - meaning your gift will go three times as far.

For every £1 donated to our Protecting Milestones appeal between 1 March and 31 May 2022, the UK government will contribute £1 of UK aid to fund a new programme to treat malnutrition in Nigeria, up to £2 million. A generous IRC donor will also match the original donation, meaning your gift will go three times as far. Your support, and the matching funds provided by the UK government, is vital to funding the IRC’s life-changing programs around the world. The funds provided by the UK government will go to a new programme to treat malnutrition in Nigeria.

It is the compassion and generosity of our donors that make our work possible. Together, we can help children and families in crisis access urgently-needed health care, education, protection services and more. We can ensure the needs of women and children —who are disproportionately impacted by crisis and conflict —are met. We can help children living through conflict recover and reach their full potential. And we can empower people around the world to advocate for their rights and make their voices heard.

When I heard that my child was feeling better and had even gained weight, I was so excited, and I showed my appreciation to the medical personnel. I was so excited, especially when I saw him smiling.
Mother and her son in North East Nigeria Malnutrition clinic
30-year-old Naima lost everything when the insurgencies happened in northeast Nigeria. Her family were left without enough food and her youngest child Hadi fell ill. Naima took her son to the IRC's mobile clinic where she was referred to the IRC’s stabilisation centre. Naima stayed at the centre with her son, caring for him in partnership with our trained staff, nursing him back to full health.
Her Story
Mother in North-East Nigeria