Over 19 Million People in Yemen Face Hunger: UN

Over 19 Million People in Yemen Face Hunger: UN

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A new UN report says more than 19 million Yemenis are now facing hunger, setting a new record since the beginning of the devastating Saudi-led war on Yemen in 2015.

The number of hungry people in Yemen is the highest in seven years, with aid cuts possible in days, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.

"More than 19 million people are going hungry, including more than 160,000 on the verge of famine," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. "Funding cuts are hampering our ability to help people in need."

The office said that the World Food Program (WFP) reduced food rations for 8 million people in December due to funding gaps and had to introduce another round of cuts last month. Some 5 million people receive less than half of their daily requirements, and 8 million will receive less than one-third of their daily needs, Xinhua reported.

More than 8 million women and children need nutritional help in the country, including more than 500,000 severely malnourished children, OCHA said.

More funding cuts loom beginning Friday.

The humanitarian office said the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported it might have to stop treatment next month for more than 50,000 severely malnourished children. Also, in July the agency will suspend its work on safe water and sanitation for up to 3.6 million people and cut in half its mine risk education activities.

OCHA said the trimming of child mine education puts 2 million children and their families at greater risk of mine-related injuries and deaths.

UNICEF also said that in July, it would suspend maternal and child health support, which helps up to 2.5 million children and 100,000 women.

There are more than 4 million people internally displaced in Yemen and are four times more likely to experience food insecurity than those not uprooted, the UN Refugee Agency said. Cash assistance, shelter and essential relief items face slashing in July for 150,000 displaced people and nearly 100,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.

The UN has described the situation in Yemen as the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis,” caused by seven years of war and a tight siege launched by Riyadh and its regional allies against the poor Middle Eastern country.

Since then, the Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly prevented the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid and fuel to Yemeni ports.

In recent months, the coalition has continued to cease Yemeni fuel tankers despite a UN-brokered ceasefire intended to end the Saudi-led war and blockade.

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