Due to several factors like Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change, the number of people facing acute food insecurity has increased from 135 million in 53 countries before the pandemic to 345 million in 79 countries in 2023, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).
Through the use of RUTF, over 95 percent of wasted children who suffer from acute malnutrition can recover, yet only 25 percent of children have historically had access to this treatment.
“Food insecurity affects hundreds of millions of individuals and families worldwide,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) is proven to save the lives of children lacking access to nutrition, and I am proud to join this bipartisan effort urging the Biden Administration to continue to fund this crucial program.”
“More than ten million children need emergency malnutrition treatment today and we have the tools to help them," said Congressman Blumenauer. "Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food is an inexpensive, simple to use treatment made from American agricultural products. This should be at the center of our efforts to help support those suffering from the most severe forms of malnutrition."
“I am proud to join with my colleagues in this bipartisan letter to the Administration calling for additional funding to prevent famine and mass malnutrition among the world’s most vulnerable,” said Congressman Krishnamoorthi. “Because of the impacts of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, extreme drought felt in many regions across the world, and supply chain and inflation repercussions resulting from the pandemic, it is critical that we take action now to prevent further mass suffering.”
RUTF is ranked as one of the most effective child survival interventions, but is vastly underfunded and under-prioritized by the international community. Globally, only 25 percent of children suffering from wasting have access to this life-saving treatment. The United States is already one of the world's largest and most cost-efficient producers of RUTF and the agricultural inputs needed to produce it, which include peanuts, soy protein, dairy, vegetable oil and sugar.