The conflict-driven food crisis in Yemen could become a full-blown famine this year, the UN’s humanitarian chief has warned.
Two million people need emergency food aid to survive and child malnutrition has risen 63% in a year, Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council.
A child under five dies every 10 minutes of preventable causes, he said.
Severe poverty, war damage, and a naval embargo by the Saudi-led coalition have all damaged food security.
About 14 million people are currently food insecure in Yemen, including 2.2m children who are acutely malnourished and nearly 500,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Mr O’Brien urged the Saudi-led coalition – which is backed by Western countries including the US and UK – to remove its no-fly zone and reopen Sanaa airport.
The blockade is having a “disproportionate impact” on civilians, he said, by stopping life-saving medication being flown in, and preventing 20,000 Yemenis accessing specialist medical treatment abroad.
Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, told the BBC that people were desperate and wheat supplies would last only an estimated three more months.
“Everywhere you go, you see people begging in the streets in bigger numbers, you see people rummaging through rubbish to survive,” he said.
“You hear catastrophic stories of children dying because they can’t get to health centres. People dying of malnutrition, people dying of preventable diseases.
“It will get worse because the problem is that the economy is in really bad shape and banking sector doesn’t function.” (BBC NEWS)
How can these women, children and elderly be a threat to us.. how we look the other way as the innocence suffer.. and ourselves the Country to look up to.. my heart breaks for Yemen..
The Original Me Ann..