UN: Millions Facing Famine, Death in Yemen

A famine-hit child in Yemen (File Photo)A famine-hit child in Yemen (File Photo)

The UN has warned that 17 million Yemenis will be in famine unless the world sends urgent humanitarian help.

Antonio Guterres, the UN chief, issued a call for action on Tuesday at the aid conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, where donor countries pledged almost $1.1 billion, Aljazeera reported.

But UN says the amount is half of what is needed to combat what it is calling “the world’s largest hunger crisis”.

More than two million children are acutely malnourished in Yemen. Aid workers say almost half a million of them are suffering from severe acute malnutrition that is a life-threatening condition.

Guterres said that on average, one child under the age of five dies of preventable causes every 10 minutes.

“This means 50 children in Yemen will die during today’s conference and all those deaths could have been prevented,” he said.

Yemen was already one of the poorest countries in the region and the ongoing conflict between the Saudi forces and Houthi fighters has made matters worse.

Malnutrition is affecting all vulnerable parts of the Yemeni society, including the disabled and the elderly. People are also dying of preventable diseases because health services, which used to provide diagnosis and treatment, have collapsed in most parts.

Speaking to Aljazeera from Sana’a, Shabia Mantoo, a spokesperson for the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR, said there will be no end to the humanitarian crisis without a political solution in Yemen.


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