Although 64% of those surveyed said they were not suffering any shortages, rural respondents in Sudurpaschim and Province 2 reported the most food shortages. The shortages were manifested in families not being able to afford meat, eggs, dairy products, and some vegetables. This is expected to increase malnutrition among Nepali children under five, 43% of whom were already malnourished.
More than half the children in Karnali Province are stunted because of insufficient nutrition. Many of the most vulnerable children who were getting in school meals have not been able to go to school for the past five months and have been missing out on supplemental nutrition.
One in every five household polled in the survey in May said their children were getting a reduced variety and smaller portions in fewer meals. Understandably, the reduction in food intake was highest in households with lowest incomes – one-third of them said their children were getting less food.
Some 18% of mothers said they were breastfeeding more to compensate for reduced food intake of their small children, with the numbers much higher (32-34%) in Sudurpaschim and Karnali Provinces.
Some 16% of breasting mothers of children under two from the poorest families reported that they were eating less, even though 90% of Nepali mothers said they were breastfeeding their children.