Two boys in the conflict affected Sadah Governate in the north of Yemen. Unicef 2014 Harneis

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Child malnutrition expected to rise

Home > Malnutrition expected to rise in Yemen as conflict continues

Already high child malnutrition levels in Yemen are expected to sharply increase as the crisis continues.  Julien Harneis, Unicef Yemen Representative said: “We expect there to be an upsurge in malnutrition across the country in the coming weeks, be it in areas of conflict or not, because it was already a country where 60% of the population lived under the poverty line.”

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Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world and chronic malnutrition has always been a problem. Around 850,000 children under the age of 5 already suffer from acute malnutrition. “That is not going to get any better,” said Julien. “People’s revenues are going down, the cost of living is going up and government services are weakened if not falling apart.” In the past five years, the malnutrition rates had fallen but it is likely to soar with the renewed fighting, putting the lives of more than quarter of a million children in danger.

 

Monthly nutrition records were developed by Unicef and the Government to help health centres in Yemen manage all the elements of treating malnutrition. This includes both the management of patients and supply.

Monthly nutrition records were developed by Unicef and the Government to help health centres in Yemen manage all the elements of treating malnutrition. This includes both the management of patients and supply.

A first airlift of urgent medical and other supplies for children touched down at Sana’a international airport last week. However, it has not been easy and there are more supplies waiting to be delivered. “For the last week, every day we’ve been trying to get a plane in and every day there has been a different problem,” said Julien.

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All photos: Unicef/2015/Harneis

This little girl is clutching a packet of ready-to-use therapeutic food that we give to malnourished children.

This little girl is clutching a packet of ready-to-use therapeutic food that we give to malnourished children.