Latest figures on the impact of the global economic crisis show more than 80 per cent of families in the most vulnerable communities in Tonga and Tuvalu do not have enough money for food.
The United Nation's Childrens Fund says children, youth and women are bearing the biggest burden of the global economic crisis.
Surveys conducted by UNICEF in Tonga and Tuvalu, in December, reveal 80 per cent of families living in vulnerable communities, do not have enough money for food.
UNICEF says it is malnutrition rather than hunger that is causing the worst problems, particularly for children in remote areas, who could suffer lasting deficits.
The agency says families are being forced to reduce the quantity and variety of the food they buy, to plant more crops and to seek help from friends and family.
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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