Hundreds of thousands of children facing starvation in Yemen
Source: Associated Press
The United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF) says that hundreds of thousands of children are facing
starvation in Yemen, with one (m) million children acutely malnourished.
"Close to sixty percent of Yemeni children under the age of
five today are suffering from chronic malnutrition," UNICEF representative
Gert Kapelari said.
"That makes Yemen the country with the highest level of
chronic malnutrition in the world after Afghanistan."
Kapelari says that poses
huge problems for Yemen's future.
250,000children today in Yemen are at risk of dying or having life
long consequences if we don't act immediately," he said.
At Revolution Hospital
in the capital Sanaa, emaciated children lie on hospital beds, their bones
Aid agencies say the
country is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster, suffering from chronic
levels of poverty.
Oxfam's Joy Singhal said
that forty-four percent of the population - around 10 million people - are
Singhal says more and
more people are finding it difficult to afford to buy food, a knock-on effect
of increasing levels of unemployment and rising prices.
Yemen imports up to 90
percent of its main staple foods, including wheat and sugar, which many
households struggle to purchase.
Conflict and political
instability have also played a factor, greatly increasing the number of
internally displaced people who are now dependent on food aid.
According to the World
Food Programme, 670-thousand IDPs rely on food aid in the south and north of
In March, the WFP
reported that levels of food insecurity in Yemen had doubled since 2009.
The European Union
recently said it would provide an extra five million euros (six million US
dollars) in humanitarian aid, to help combat a food crisis which could
destabilise the conflict-torn country.