More than three-quarters of Yemenis are now in need of humanitarian aid as the war between rebels and the Saudi-backed government nears its fourth year, the United Nations said yesterday.
Some 8.4 million people are at risk of famine, up from 6.8 million in 2017, the U.N. humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) said. A total of 22.2 million people, or 76 percent of Yemen's population of 29 million, are dependent on some form of assistance, an increase of 1.5 million people over the past six months, as reported by AFP In addition, already battered by three years of war, Yemen is in danger of tipping into famine in 2018 if fighting continues to disrupt imports of food aid, aid agencies warned.
In the worst-case scenario, the war-torn nation "faces a risk of famine" if there is prolonged and significant disruption to imports through its two Red Sea ports, said a specialist U.S.-based agency, according to Reuters. More people are predicted to go hungry in July 2018 than in the same month last year, added the Famine Early Warning Systems Network in its latest analysis, which focuses on projected food needs for July.
Disrupting humanitarian access would deepen what the United Nations already calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, said Rosanne Marchesich, a Rome-based emergency response team leader at the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A total of 9,245 people have been killed in Yemen since the coalition intervened in 2015, according to World Health Organization figures. More than 50,000 have been wounded and millions displaced from their homes. As Yemen's health care system has been brought to the brink of collapse, more than one million people have been infected with cholera, of whom more than 2,000 died, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
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