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Updated On: Thursday, 20 September 2018

WFP Warns of Hunger in Yemen

Content by: South-South News

26 October 2016, New York, USA | South-South News — The World Food Program (WFP) has expressed concern about the deteriorating food security and growing rates of child malnutrition in the hard-to-reach areas of Yemen. A WFP team which recently visited impoverished neighborhoods in the Hajjah and Hodeida governorates described a “very dramatic situation” as people struggle daily to secure their food needs. The team visited hospitals, nutrition and health centers and saw many cases of malnourished children arriving from remote areas.

The agency said Yemen had one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world even before the latest conflict. In some areas like Hodeida, Global Acute Malnutrition rates among children under five was as high as 31 percent, more than double the emergency threshold of 15 percent. WFP said almost half of the children countrywide are irreversibly stunted.

WFP said the economic impact of the conflict was a “catastrophe” for Yemen, already the poorest country in the Middle East. Millions of public sector employees no longer receive their salaries and struggle to make ends meet. Even before the conflict escalated and imports declined dramatically, Yemen imported some 90 percent of its food needs. Farmers have also been heavily affected.

WFP Regional Director Muhannad Hadi said the conflict in Yemen was taking a devastating toll particularly on women and children. He said hunger was increasing on a daily basis and people had exhausted all their survival strategies. “What we are looking for is an increase in support from the international community to make sure that WFP gets access to the entire country, but also to have the means to reach those people and to provide them with food,” Hadi said.

WFP said it aims to treat and help prevent malnutrition among some 700,000 children under five, pregnant women and nursing mothers. The agency said it needed over $257 million to provide food assistance in Yemen until March 2017.

 

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