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UNICEF: 400,000 Yemen children at risk of death

November 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm

A doctor examines a baby at the Sabaeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on 18 January 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

Thousands of children are at risk of malnutrition and death in Yemen, UNICEF warned in a statement yesterday.

“Today, nearly 400,000 children in Yemen are at risk of death from severe acute malnutrition. To potentially add tens of thousands more children to this toll – tens of thousands more personal catastrophes for children and grieving parents – is simply inhuman,” Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said.

“The recent closure of all ports and airports is making an already catastrophic situation even worse,” Lowcock continued.

The Saud-led coalition in Yemen on Monday announced the closure of all air, sea and land ports in Yemen on a temporary basis after Iranian-backed Houthi group fired a ballistic missile at Riyadh airport on Saturday.

Following the closure, the Red Cross and the United Nations urged the coalition to re-open an aid lifeline to allow food and medicine imports to Yemen, where seven million people are facing famine.

The Saudi-led coalition ordered the opening of the southern port of Aden to permit commercial and aid ships to enter Yemen. Aden is currently the temporary capital of Yemen, since the Iranian-backed Houthi group took of Sana’a in 2014.

The civil war in Yemen has remained a stalemate for two years, with a failure of any mediation from the UN or neighbouring Arab countries.

Since late 2014, Yemen has endured a civil war, which led to the inception of the systematic Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign to preserve President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s governance. Some 700,000 suspected cholera cases have been recorded, amid a grievous humanitarian situation on the ground.

Read More: UN warns if no Yemen aid access, world will see largest famine in decades