Thousands of Iranian girls are going hungry every day, resulting in malnutrition that will have devastating long-term effects on the overall physical and mental health of them for years to come.
The main reasons for malnutrition, which is far too common in Iran especially for children under five, is poverty and limited access to healthy food, and will likely lead to impaired development, more expensive medical treatment, and doing badly in school.
This is worrying for the newest generation of Iranian youth, so the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is drawing attention to this to mark World Food Day.
Iranian Media Admit to Tsunami of Starvation Among Children
Of course, the government is desperate to prevent bad news from getting out, so they obscure the true figures, but even the artificial and downplayed statistics are horrifying. The state-run ISNA news agency says that 54,076 girls aged five or under are suffering from malnutrition, while the Health Ministry claims this figure is actually 50,000 children total, but that is disturbingly the best-case scenario.
Other state-run media sites have reported that there are 137,000 to 200,000 malnourished children, as a result of poverty, with the higher figure being from 2017. Given that poverty has risen dramatically in Iran since then, with 60 million people living below the poverty line, it’s not possible for the number of starving children to have dropped by 75 percent.
The Health Ministry also identified 67,000 pregnant women as being at risk of starvation.
Iranian Children and Pregnant Women Are Exposed to Malnutrition
All of these statistics are higher in provinces of high poverty, including Lorestan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Kerman, and Khuzestan.
The government claims to be proving food parcels to these families, but the fact is that these are sporadic and limited, with many children left to starve. This is not an effective policy and actually is just an excuse for high-ranking officials to take a big paycheck for overseeing the food basket program, which leaves less money to provide for the children.
This unchecked malnutrition has weakened the immune systems of women and girls, making it more likely that they will contract the Coronavirus, while food insecurity will increase because of the pandemic.
Of course, it is the responsibility of a government, under Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to make sure that children receive the highest standard of treatment for illnesses and prevention of harm. The ayatollahs do not seem a bit interested though.