The United Nations (UN) announced on Friday that half a million children in areas controlled by the Yemeni government are at risk of acute malnutrition this year.
This came in a joint statement issued by three UN agencies, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), a copy of which was received by Anadolu Agency.
“As acute malnutrition continues to worsen in southern governorates, it is estimated that in 2023, half a million children will be acutely malnourished, including nearly 100,000 children who are likely to be severely malnourished,” the statement read.
“It is also estimated that up to a quarter million pregnant and lactating women (PLW) will be acutely malnourished,” it added.
While the statement indicated a slight improvement in food security during the first five months of this year, it warned that: “Despite the slight improvements, nearly all districts under the control of the GoY were assessed to be facing high levels of food insecurity.”
For months, the UN has been suffering from a severe lack of funding for humanitarian operations in Yemen, leading to reduced aid to millions of people amid warnings of more hunger.
For around eight years, Yemen has witnessed a continuous war between pro-government forces backed by an Arab military coalition led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia and the Iranian-backed Houthis, who control several governorates, including the capital.
By the end of 2021, the war claimed the lives of 377,000 people and caused $126 billion in economic losses, according to the UN. Most of the population, about 30 million people, depend on aid in one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.