At least 400,000 Yemeni children under the age of five could starve to death without immediate action this year if severe malnutrition caused by the war and the coronavirus pandemic escalates, four UN agencies reported on Friday.
The warning comes nearly six years after the outbreak of war, in which 80% of the population depends on humanitarian aid, the Telegraph reports. In a report released on Friday, the agencies forecast a 22% increase in severe acute malnutrition among children under 5 in Yemen compared to 2020.
Severe acute malnutrition means there is a risk of death from lack of food. Aden, Hodeida, Taiz and Sana were among the worst-affected areas, the report said. “These numbers are another call for assistance from Yemen, where every child who is malnourished also means a family struggling to survive,” said David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), in a joint statement with the Food Organization and Agriculture. . FAO), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).
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Another 2.3 million children under five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by 2021. Acute malnutrition among children and mothers in Yemen is increasing with conflict every year due to high disease rates and increasing food insecurity.
This year, 1.2 million pregnant or nursing women are estimated to be severely malnourished. Famine has never been officially declared in Yemen. The United Nations says the country is the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.
As well as conflicts, economic downturns and pandemics, last year’s lack of donations also exacerbated the humanitarian crisis. Food and other services protecting millions of people from hunger and disease are gradually getting closer to Yemen in the face of an acute underfunding.
The agencies said they received only $ 1.9 billion of the $ 3.4 billion needed for the country’s humanitarian assistance. The program starts to close and shrink.