Child Malnutrition Reaches New Highs in Parts of Yemen: UN Survey

Child Malnutrition Reaches New Highs in Parts of Yemen: UN Survey

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Parts of Yemen are seeing their highest levels of acute malnutrition in children as a result of the ongoing Saudi-led war against the impoverished Arab country, a UN report said on Tuesday.

Drivers of malnutrition in Yemen worsened in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic, economic decline, floods, and significant underfunding of this year's aid response have compounded an already bleak hunger situation after almost six years of Saudi-led war.

"We've been warning since July that Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food security crisis," said Lise Grande, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, the Middle East Eye reported.

"If the war doesn't end now, we are nearing an irreversible situation and risk losing an entire generation of Yemen's young children."

According to a UN Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) malnutrition analysis of south Yemen, acute malnutrition cases in children under five increased by about 10 percent in 2020, to more than half a million.

Cases of children with severe acute malnutrition rose 15.5 percent, and at least a quarter-million pregnant or breastfeeding women also need malnutrition treatment.

About 1.4 million children under five live in south Yemen.

Nutrition and other services that keep millions from starvation and disease are gradually closing across Yemen amid an acute funding shortage this year.

The UN says it had by mid-October received only $1.43bn of the $3.2bn needed for the entire 2020 Yemen humanitarian response. Programs have started to close and scale down.

The organization said it needs $50m urgently to boost nutrition programs.

The Saudi-led coalition invaded Yemen in 2015. Since then, over 100,000 people have been killed, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).

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