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Burkina Faso: malnourished children may lose life-saving Plumpy'Sup

WFP distributes Plumpy'Sup in Burkina Faso to fight malnutriton
WFP distributes Plumpy'Sup in Burkina Faso to fight malnutritonWFP/Rein Skullerud

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said this week that its nutrition programs in Burkina Faso may cease because of low funding. This means hungry children will not receive Plumpy'Sup, a food that fights potentially deadly malnutrition.

WFP says the low funds have already caused the reduction of hunger-fighting initiatives in the West African nation. Around 300,000 people have been removed from nutrition programs. There is simply not enough funds right now to supply everyone.

The UN food agency relies entirely on voluntary donations. Around US $ 10 million is needed by WFP to keep the fight going against malnutrition.

It is reported that one in three children within Burkina Faso suffers from growth retardation and eight in ten are anemic. As the country has suffered through recent droughts, food supplies have been limited.

Malnutrition, especially for children under 5 years, causes this lasting physical and mental damage. If left untreated malnutrition can also be deadly. Children perish each day around the globe from malnutrition.

Foods like Plumpy'Sup, an enriched peanut paste, can fight off this malnutrition in children. Plumpy products are loaded with the right vitamins and minerals.

Plumpy'Sup requires no cooking or special preparation. You just open a package and it's ready-to-eat. Plumpy'Sup is part of a series of peanut-based products that treat malnutrition. Plumpy'Nut and Plumpy'Doz are some of the other names of these hunger-fighting products. They are produced at plants all around the world including one in Providence, Rhode Island called Edesia.

Plumpy makes a world of difference in countries struggling with severe hunger. The biggest obstacle, in many cases, is lack of funding for this nutrition intervention. That is the case right now in Burkina Faso.

WFP is running nutrition programs in countries all over the world, some in conflict. This global operation requires massive funding, which WFP and other aid groups are struggling to obtain. This has obviously made it more difficult for some of the missions in countries like Burkina Faso to obtain funding.