DUBAI REUTERS June 26 - The number of malnourished children in Yemen could rise to 2.4 million by the end of the year due to a big shortfall in humanitarian funding, the United Nations Children’s Agency (UNICEF) said on Friday.
A UNICEF report warned of a rise of 20% in the number of malnourished chidren under the age of five - almost half of all of that age in the country.
“If we do not receive urgent funding, children will be pushed to the brink of starvation and many will die,” said UNICEF Yemen representative Sara Beysolow Nyanti. “We cannot overstate the scale of this emergency.” Yemen has been wracked for more than five years by a war pitting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement which controls much of the country and a Saudi-led coalition which supports the internationally-recognised government based in the south.
Tens of thousands of people have died, many of them civilians, and the ensuing humanitarian crisis has been called the worst in the world.
The United Nations has said it does not have enough funding to maintain the aid response, the world’s largest.