Malnutrition is a major problem that Médecins Sans Frontières faces in almost all areas within its reach. It is prevalent among those they help, both children and adults, but it is especially striking in the young, who have far more nutritional needs than others. If children, especially those under the age of three, don't have those certain needs met, development is arrested and the probability of sickness increases.

A map showing the prevalence of malnourished children throughout the world.

Médecins Sans Frontières is making a conscious effort to remedy this problem. The MSF is calling for the increased usage of a product called RUF, or nutrient dense ready-to-use food. The product, which contains vital nutrients necessary for the young, is a paste-like food ideal for the rough conditions Médecins Sans Frontières faces. It can be produced and stored locally, and it requires no refrigeration, which is important in hot climates and those areas which cannot support refrigeration. It is also easy to use, meaning that parents can give the food to their children without requiring assistance. Médecins Sans Frontières supports both the production and distribution of this product. They are also supporting the further development of it.

Médecins Sans Frontières hopes that with new, lasting products, mmalnutrition can be beaten back in not just the young or sick but in the general population as well.

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