UN: 40 million Yemenis face food crisis

Published July 17th, 2014 - 10:38 GMT

A United Nations report says that more than 40 percent of Yemen’s population - about 40 million people - faces an acute food crisis.

According to the Comprehensive Food Security Survey, conducted by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate in most parts of Yemen is serious and at emergency levels in other areas.

Nearly 70 percent of the people in the country’s northern governorate of Sa’ada and about 10 percent of the residents of the eastern Al Mahra are food-insecure. In all, about five million Yemenis face food insecurity.

The survey also suggested that the rate of chronic malnutrition among children under the age of five is greater than the international “critical” benchmark.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund has also said that a great number of Yemeni children are showing signs of stunting.

“Of the estimated 4.5 million children under the age of five, more than 2 in 5 are stunted while almost 13 percent are acutely malnourished,” Acting UNICEF Representative in Yemen Jeremy Hopkins said.

“Stunting (or stunted growth) is what happens to a child’s brain and body when they don’t get the right kind of food or nutrients in their first 1,000 days of life. The damage is irreversible. That child will never learn, nor earn, as much as he or she could have if properly nourished in early life,” the UN body explained.

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