The Philippines will distribute dietary supplements to toddlers aged 6 to 23 months and nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, Malacañang announced on Friday.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases adopted the resolution seeking the provision of cash or food packs to toddlers within the age bracket and pregnant women at risk of malnutrition.

“This forms part of improving the healthcare of the citizens and a means to eliminating hunger which has been aggravated by the pandemic,” he said in a statement.

IATF’s move came days after a Social Weather Stations survey found that a record-high 7.6 million Filipino households experienced involuntary hunger in the last three months.

Of the total, 5.5 million families experienced moderate hunger and 2.2 million families experienced severe hunger.

Moderate hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months, while severe hunger pertains to those who experienced it “often” or “always” in the last three months. John Ezekiel J. Hirro