War-torn Yemen on brink of losing an entire generation of children to hunger: UN

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 29, 2020, 07:09 AM(IST)

Yemen humanitarian crisis Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Signs of hunger, or even worse, famine, are increasingly visible. In some parts of the country, experts warn, levels of acute child malnutrition are alarming. "Nearly 100,000 children are at risk of death,” a UN official said.

Conflict-ravaged Yemen has become a "living hell" for children with thousands dying every year from malnutrition and easily preventable diseases.

Also read: Satellite images reveal real COVID-19 death toll in Yemen

The number of malnourished children in Yemen could rise to 2.4 million by the end of the year due to a big shortfall in humanitarian funding, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF had said.

Also read: In war-torn Yemen, how donkeys became a prized commodity

According to UN data, Yemen’s crisis has reached unprecedented levels. Six years after the start of the war, hunger, even famine, is increasingly likely. Donor countries, especially Saudi Arabia, have failed to fulfil their aid commitments. Out the US$ 3.2 billion dollars needed, only US$ 1.43 have been raised so far.

Also read | COVID-19 is a threat to warn-torn Yemen: UN Refugee Agency

Signs of hunger, or even worse, famine, are increasingly visible. In some parts of the country, experts warn, levels of acute child malnutrition are alarming. "Nearly 100,000 children are at risk of death,” a UN official said.

Drivers of malnutrition in Yemen worsened in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic, economic decline, floods, escalating conflict and significant underfunding of this year’s aid response have compounded an already bleak hunger situation after nearly six years of war.

Millions have no access to food, healthcare, clean water or sanitation. It's a festering pool of coronavirus infections.

The UN is not able to do much due to lack of funds. It has warned that most of its relief programs will be suspended in the coming weeks.

In early June, the UN raised the alarm and received 1.3 billion dollars in aid to help Yemen, which is just half of what it got last year.

For Yemen, which entirely depends on aid to survive, this is detrimental as 80 per cent of the population relies on handouts.

The civil war has left millions unemployed. Now, 80 per cent of the country is in need of humanitarian assistance but the two warring sides are blocking vital food and medical aid.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 pitting the pro-Saudi government and Shia Houthi rebels close to Iran. 

Yemen is a failed state without a central government in charge.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App