Yemen, the worst humanitarian crisis of the world

Nearly 16 million people go hungry - half the population of the country. The UN announced a ceasefire that seeks to prevent “thousands of children from dying of malnutrition”.

Evangelical Focus

FAO, Protestante Digital · SANAA · 18 DECEMBER 2018 · 09:02 CET

A child is treated of malnutrition in Hajjah, Yemen. / ONU, PMA, Abeer Etefa,
A child is treated of malnutrition in Hajjah, Yemen. / ONU, PMA, Abeer Etefa

More than 20 million people are food insecure in Yemen. Of these 15.9 go hungry, 53% of a population that suffers the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and faces an imminent famine.

The country of the Arabian Peninsula has been submerged in a serious armed conflict for four years that has caused a devastating food crisis.

“Livelihoods have been destroyed and food prices have soared beyond the reach of most families”, said Daniele Donati, deputy director of Emergencies of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Additionally, “the provision of public services and social safety nets have been shattered, salaries largely not being paid, and Yemeni millions have exhausted all means of coping”.



According to Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, “right now, 65,000 people can barely survive and at least 250,000 face a devastating year”.

The UN’s World Humanitarian Summary, presented last week in Geneva, warns that “the possible closure of the port of Al Hudaydah due to the fighting, would reduce almost 80% of imports, as well as humanitarian food assistance, which would have a dramatic impact on the access and availability of food”.

Only in 2019, Yemen will need 3,500 million Euros of humanitarian aid. “Food prices have jumped by 150% compared to pre-crisis levels. Fuel prices, including gas for cooking, have also soared”, the FAO reported.



The organization indicated that “1.8 million children are acutely malnourished, including almost 400,000 who suffer from the most severe form; this causes these children to be 11 times more at risk of dying if they are not treated in time than a healthy child”.

Normal food production activity has almost stopped throughout the country, people are growing what they can in the backyard gardens, the animals that provide the milk protein are poorly fed, and the lack of veterinary services, along with the shortage and high cost of medicines and animal feed is a major problem”, Donati pointed out.

UNICEF and the World Food Program have accelerated the implementation of specialized programs in health facilities, in addition to providing equipment, medicines and specialized foods for children with severe malnutrition, but the FAO said it needs more.



On Thursday, December 13, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the internationally recognized government and the Huthi rebels who have seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa had reached a ceasefire agreement that will allow deployment of neutral forces and a humanitarian corridor.

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