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09 December, 2016

Child malnutrition rates up 200% in Yemen since 2014

As the world focuses on the crisis in Syria, a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition continues its war on Yemen, targeting the civilian population with starvation and the destruction of infrastructure crucial for survival.

At least 10,000 people have died in the conflict, mostly civilians, but a looming hunger crisis could drive that toll far higher.

An entire generation could be crippled by hunger,” declared Torben Due, country director for the World Food Program, in a Oct. 25 report from the U.N. News Service.

According to a WFP investigation into hunger carried out in June, some 14.1 million Yemeni, or 51 percent of the population, are food insecure, many of them children. The WFP estimates it will need to care for about 700,000 children under five, pregnant women, and nursing mothers in order to prevent “moderate acute malnutrition.” Also known as wasting, this condition can cause severe, long-lasting effects on children’s cognitive and physical development.

The crisis in Yemen, along with conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan and elsewhere, has prompted the United Nations to request a record-breaking $22.2 billion in humanitarian aid for 2017, the news service reported on Monday.

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