In El Salvador, mother-of-three Yojana fed her youngest son, José, nutrient-rich fortified cereals that she received through the U.N. World Food Programme-supported Nutrimos El Salvador program.
“I have three children and my youngest child, José, who is one, is having the cereals from the program. I blend them in juices and porridge and I can see they do him a lot of good. I can see the difference this makes — he has gained weight and he is growing well.”
These fortified foods are just as healthy for moms as they are for babies, which Yojana learned:
“I also took the fortified cereals after the third month of my pregnancy and thanks to my good nutrition, José was born healthy and strong.”
Photo: WFP/Marwa Awad
“I was too hungry to produce enough milk,” says Alaa. Nutrition support is helping her and her son Aboud back to health.
This kind of support becomes particularly vital in the case of emergencies like conflict, displacement or natural disasters. This was the case for Alaa, who had to leave her home after years of siege and bombardment: “I was quite weak after giving birth and my breast milk was not sufficient for Aboud. I could tell he was not growing properly.”
“I had to feed my baby sugary water to make up for my lack of milk. I couldn’t produce enough for him. I was too hungry.”
After she settled, one of her neighbors told her about a U.N. World Food Programme-supported children’s nutrition clinic. “I have nothing to lose,” she thought. The local doctor diagnosed Alaa and her baby Aboud with malnutrition, and gave them both nutrition supplements. “With the treatment we both received, I have gained so much.”
“Before finding the U.N. World Food Programme clinic, I had tried several private ones but I could not afford the doctor’s fees. I feel this clinic has saved my life and that of my son.”
Photo: WFP/Saikat Mojumder
Fortified cereals are enabling Ayesha to breastfeed her baby as well as giving her energy.
Ayesha, her husband and their three children (ages five, four and five months) fled Myanmar to find safety in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. “We are happy here, but we cannot eat well,” she says. “We do not get fish or spices, and since we cannot work here, we do not have any money, so we cannot buy anything.”
Ayesha quickly struggled to feed her children: “Before getting cereals from the U.N. World Food Programme, I was very weak and my baby daughter, Kafin Ara, used to feel sick often. She was very thin, suffering from malnutrition.”
“Once I started having these cereals, I started to feel more energetic. And as I breastfeed Kafin Ara, she is also getting healthier. She doesn’t fall sick like before and she has gained weight. I feel so happy to see her healthy.”
Still more to do
In 2020, the U.N. World Food Programme reached more than 17 million pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children under the age of two with malnutrition treatment and prevention programs.
It’s a massive undertaking, and there are millions more we could reach if we had the resources. Help us deliver the food that infants need to survive. Click here to learn more childhood hunger and here to donate today.