Millions of Children’s Lives at High Risk as Yemen Inches Towards Famine – UNICEF

Millions of Children’s Lives at High Risk as Yemen Inches Towards Famine - UNICEF

By Staff, Agencies

The United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF] Executive Director Henrietta Fore warned in a statement that “As Yemen slowly inches towards what the UN Secretary-General has described as potentially ‘the worst famine in decades,’ the risk to children’s lives is higher than ever.”

“The warning signs have been clear for far too long. More than 12 million children need humanitarian assistance,” she added.

The UNICEF Executive Director further noted that acute child malnutrition rates have reached record levels in some parts of the country, marking a 10 per cent increase just this year.

“Nearly 325,000 children under the age of five suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are fighting to survive.”

With the fact that more than five million children face a heightened threat of cholera and acute watery diarrhea, the UN official explained that chronic poverty, decades of underdevelopment, and over five years of unrelenting conflict have exposed children and their families to a deadly combination of violence and disease.

She went on to highlight that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned a deep crisis into an imminent catastrophe.

“Yemen’s health system has been on the verge of collapse for years. Countless schools, hospitals, water stations and other crucial public infrastructure have been damaged and destroyed in the fighting.”

“Humanitarian aid alone will not avert a famine nor end the crisis in Yemen. Stopping the war, supporting the economy and increasing resources are critical,” she added.

“There is no time to waste. Children in Yemen need peace. An end to this brutal conflict is the only way they can fulfil their potential, resume their childhood and, ultimately, rebuild their country,” Fore concluded.

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