Nearly 2.2 million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished, victims of the near-collapse of the health care system during two years of escalating conflict, UN children's fund UNICEF said on Tuesday.
At least 462,000 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, as food supplies have been disrupted by the devastating war between the Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels, the agency said.
Saada province, a rebel bastion in the far north, has the world's highest stunting rate among children with eight out of 10 children affected in some areas, it added.
"Malnutrition in Yemen is at an all-time high and increasing," said UNICEF's acting country representative, Meritxell Relano.
"The state of health of children in the Middle East's poorest country has never been as catastrophic as it is today."
At least one child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen because of malnutrition and preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
"Diseases such as cholera and measles have spread and, with few health facilities functional, such outbreaks are taking a heavy toll on children," Relano said.
In 2016, UNICEF supported the treatment of 215,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition and provided more than four million children under the age of five with vitamin supplements.
But relief operations remain hindered by funding shortfalls and limited access to battleground areas.
"We call on 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," Relano said.
Yemen's 20-month-old war has left more than 7,000 people dead and nearly 37,000 wounded, the World Health Organization announced in its latest toll update. As of Oct. 25, "more than 7,070 people have been killed and over 36,818 injured, according to health facility-based data," the WHO said in a statement late Sunday. Another 21 million people are in need of urgent health services, said the U.N. health agency.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni capital Sanaa in Sept. 2014, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee the country. A Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition has been conducting an extensive air campaign against the Houthis since March 2015 that has pushed the rebels out of southern Yemen.
The U.N. says the conflict has left more than 19,000 people dead and displaced at least 3 million. Saudi Arabia leads a coalition of Muslim countries, backed by the U.S., the U.K. and France, in the war in neighboring Yemen. The campaign, which is a campaign to restore the government ousted by the Iran-allied militia, is part of a larger assertive effort to prevent weapons from reaching Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies, who have overrun much of Yemen.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.