Back to search

Economic shocks predict increases in child wasting prevalence

Nature Communications Headey, D. D., Ruel, M. T. 2022-04-20
Article on the impact of severe negative economic shock on child acute malnutrition (wasting), a major risk factor for under-5 mortality. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) macroeconomic volatility is common, and severe negative economic shocks can substantially increase poverty and food insecurity. Less well understood are the implications of these contractions for child wasting. This study explores the nutritional impacts of economic growth shocks over 1990–2018 by linking wasting outcomes collected for 1.256 million children from 52 countries to lagged annual changes in economic growth. Estimates suggest that a 10% annual decline in national income increases moderate/severe wasting prevalence by 14.4–17.8%. An exploration of possible mechanisms suggests negative economic shocks may increase risks of inadequate dietary diversity among children. Applying these results to the latest economic growth estimates for 2020 suggests that COVID-19 could put an additional 9.4 million preschoolers at risk of wasting, net of the effects of preventative policy actions.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Caribbean
  • Central Africa
  • Central America
  • Central Asia
  • East Africa
  • Global
  • Horn of Africa
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • South America
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Southern Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • West Africa
  • Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
  • Children <5 years old
  • Households
  • Mothers
  • Research
  • Article
  • Journal article

Highlighted Sources

Protect the Promise: 2022 progress report on the every woman every child global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health (2016–2030)

  • Advocacy
  • Research
  • Article
  • Brief
  • Report
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Education
  • Food Insecurity
  • Gender and/or Agency
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Ukraine War
  • Women and/or Girls
2022-10-18
Article on a UN report which showed that women’s and children’s health has suffered globally, as the impacts of conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change converge with devastating effects on prospects for children, young people, and women. Data presented in the report show a critical regression across virtually every major measure of childhood wellbeing, and many key indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since the last Every Woman Every Child Progress Report published in 2020, food insecurity, hunger, child marriage, risks from intimate partner violence, and adolescent depression and anxiety have all increased. Advocacy brief and full report available. View Source

Poverty and shared prosperity 2022

  • Research
  • Report
  • Climate Shocks
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Education
  • Health
  • Other Crises
  • Ukraine War
2022-11-15
Report on the first comprehensive look at global poverty in the aftermath of an extraordinary series of shocks to the global economy. The COVID pandemic increased the global extreme poverty rate to an estimated 9.3% in 2020—up from 8.4% in 2019. This indicates that more than 70 million people were pushed into extreme poverty by the end of 2020, increasing the global total to over 700 million. 2020 marked a historic turning point. The world’s poorest people bore the steepest costs of the pandemic. Incomes in the poorest countries fell much more than incomes in rich countries. As a result, the income losses of the world’s poorest were twice as high as the world’s richest, and global inequality rose for the first time in decades. The poorest also suffered disproportionately in many other areas that directly affect their well-being. For example, they faced large setbacks in health and education, with devastating consequences, including premature mortality and pronounced learning losses. This report offers new analysis on how fiscal policy was used during the first year of the pandemic. It also sheds light on the impact of taxes, transfers, and subsidies on poverty and inequality in 94 countries before 2020, providing important new insights into the impacts of fiscal policy—not only during crises but also during normal conditions. View Source

Assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region: Lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crisis response

  • Policy
  • Research
  • Brief
  • Policy Guidance Document
  • Report
  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
  • Ukraine War
  • Women and/or Girls
2022-7
Report on assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region to obtain lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crises response. It lays out a series of studies undertaken by WFP and partners to better understand the realities of the food security and nutrition landscape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. These are based on experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where WFP has continually assessed household vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity through monitoring surveys, while simultaneously providing technical assistance and operations support for programs in response to the pandemic in the Asia Pacific region. In addition to WFP’s food security monitoring reports and data made available from WFP’s Fill the Nutrient Gap analyses, this brief utilizes secondary data relevant to the crisis, as well as four documents recently published by WFP and its partners. While the focus of this brief is on the COVID-19 crisis, its lessons can be applied now and into the future. Other types of covariate shocks will create compounding problems for countries. View Source