UN food agency warns of Yemen's rising hunger levels
Hunger levels continued to increase in war-torn Yemen, the United Nations food relief agency warned, despite local efforts to stump the growing crisis.
Millions of vulnerable Yemenis, already suffering from deteriorating security and political issues across the country, are at risk of severe malnutrition, the World Food Programme said.
“Hunger is increasing every day and people have exhausted all their survival strategies,” said Muhannad Hadi, the World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and East Europe in a news release.
“Millions of people cannot survive without external assistance,” he added.
More than half of Yemen’s 22 million population is currently living at emergency levels of food insecurity and need urgent relief – especially in remote rural areas that are often overlooked by humanitarian schemes.
In the port Hodeidah city, children under five suffer from a Global Acute Malnutrition rate as high as 31 percent – more than double the emergency threshold, while almost half of the children countrywide are irreversibly stunted
“An entire generation could be crippled by hunger,” said WFP Country Director Torben Due. “We need to provide a full ration to every family in need, but sadly we have had to reduce the size of the food basket and split assistance between impoverished families to meet growing needs,” he added.
So far the organisation has provided supplies to more than three million people every month since February, the statement said, noting its plans to reach a further 700,000 malnourished children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Yemen has been plagued with more than two years of conflict that has left more than 10,000 people dead and three millions forced to flee from their homes.
Some 14.1 million people in Yemen are food insecure, including 7 million who are severely food insecure, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification findings suggest. In some provinces, 70 percent of the population struggle to feed themselves.