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Rate of starving children in Yemen reaches new high, UN warns


The number of starving children in parts of Yemen is the highest recorded, the United Nations has said, warning that in some areas one in five under the age of five are acutely malnourished and in need of life-saving treatment.
After reviewing 133 districts in south Yemen, three UN agencies counted more than half a million acute malnutrition cases in children including at least 98,000 under the age of five who are at risk of dying if they do not have urgent treatment.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, the United Nations child agency (Unicef), and the World Food Programme (WFP) said that was a 10 per cent increase on last year.
Cases of children with severe acute malnutrition rose 15.5 per cent, and at least 250,000 pregnant or breastfeeding women also need malnutrition treatment.
The worst hit area is within the coastal governorate of Hodeidah that had long been the front line of the fighting. There the UN agencies said that 27 per cent of all children are starving.
“If the war doesn’t end now, we are nearing an irreversible situation and risk losing an entire generation of Yemen’s young children,” said Lise Grande, the humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.
“We can’t do what’s necessary because we don’t have funding,” she added.
The UN needs more than $50m (£38.2m) to urgently scale up its nutrition programmes. By mid-October just $1.43bn of the $3.2bn needed in 2020 had been received.

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