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UNICEF: 2.2m children suffer from acute malnutrition in Yemen

December 12, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Emaciated Yemeni teenager [Reuters]

Some 2.2 million children are acutely malnourished in Yemen and in need of urgent care, UNICEF said today.

The organisation said in a statement that at least 462,000 children suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), a drastic increase of almost 200 per cent since 2014 while an additional 1.7 million children suffer from Moderate Acute Malnutrition.

According to the organisation, the situation of severely malnourished children in governorates such as Al-Hudaydah, Sa’ada, Taiz, Hajjah and Lahej is most critical.

These five governorates have the highest of all SAM cases in the country.

UNICEF Acting Representative in Yemen Dr Meritxell Relano said: “Malnutrition in Yemen is at an all-time high and increasing. The state of health of children in the Middle East’s poorest country has never been as catastrophic as it is today.”

“Violence and conflict have reversed significant gains made in the last decade in the health and nutrition of Yemeni children. Diseases such as cholera and measles have spread and, with few health facilities functional, such outbreaks are taking a heavy toll on children,” said Relano.

“We call on all parties to the conflict to give us unhindered access to children in need across the country so we are able to deliver nutrition supplies, treat malnourished children and support Yemen’s health services,” said Relano.