Children Bear the Brunt of Yemen’s Ongoing War
UNICEF: One Child Dies Every 10 minutes in Yemen
More than 400,000 children are at risk of starvation in Yemen, with nearly 2.2 million in need of urgent care, according to the UN children’s agency UNICEF. New figures indicate that hunger among children has reached an “all-time high”, with at least 462,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition – a drastic increase of about 200 percent since 2014. In a report published last fortnight, UNICEF said at least one child dies every 10 minutes because of malnutrition, diarrhoea and respiratory-tract infections.
“The state of health of children in the Middle East’s poorest country has never been as catastrophic as it is today,” Meritxell Relano, the agency’s acting representative, said in a statement. Severe acute malnutrition is a major cause of death for children under the age of five, and is apparent when a child has a very low weight for their height and becomes visibly frail and skeletal. Saada governorate, the most heavily bombed region in Yemen, has the world’s highest stunting rates among children, affecting eight out of 10 in some areas, it said. Stunting – where a child is short for their age – is another sign of chronic malnourishment and has irreversible consequences for both physical health and cognitive function. Other governorates – Hodeida, Taiz, Hajjah and Lahej – were also badly affected after 20 months of war, UNICEF said.