A prominent international charity group says an estimated 130 children or more are losing their lives every day in Yemen due to “extreme hunger and disease,” warning the situation will deteriorate unless a crippling blockade imposed on the impoverished nation by a Saudi-led military coalition is lifted immediately.
“Without urgent, unhindered access for humanitarian organizations and an increase in funding, Save the Children is warning half of these children will most likely go without treatment,” said the UK-based group in a report on Thursday, warning that “if left untreated, approximately 20-30 percent of children with severe acute malnutrition will die each year.”
The warning came less than two weeks after Saudi Arabia announced that it was shutting down Yemen’s air, sea, and land borders, after Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah fighters targeted an international airport near the Saudi capital of Riyadh with a cruise missile in retaliation for ceaseless bombardment of Yemen by the Saudi war machine over the past two and a half years.
The Saudi military, however, announced that it had intercepted the missile, which apparently reached the deepest parts within the Saudi territory.
“The decision to block access entirely to the key entry points of Sana’a Airport and the ports of Hudaydah and Salif puts thousands more children at risk,” the charity agency added, predicting that each of the provinces of Hudaydah and Ta'izz -- the most affected regions by the ongoing “hunger crisis” -- would lose a staggering 10,000 children by the end of this year.
“These deaths are as senseless as they are preventable. They mean more than a hundred mothers grieving for the death of a child, day after day,” said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s Yemen Country Director.