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Yemen famine could become worst in living memory: UN

The country is in "clear and present danger" of mass deaths from starvation, and as many as 14 million people or half the population could soon be entirely dependent on aid to survive

Published: 25th October 2018 04:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th October 2018 04:19 PM   |  A+A-

yemen famine

A man feeds children Halas, a climbing vine of green leaves, in Aslam, Hajjah, Yemen. Yemenis in the isolated pocket in the north have been reduced to eating boiled leaves from a local vine to stave off starvation, with no aid reaching many families who n

By IANS

SANAA: The ongoing famine in Yemen could become one of the worst famines in living memory, a top UN emergency relief official has warned.

The country is in "clear and present danger" of mass deaths from starvation, and as many as 14 million people or half the population could soon be entirely dependent on aid to survive, Under-Secretary-Generalairs Mark Lowcock said on Wednesday.

ALSO READ | Yemenis eat leaves to stave off famine amidst civil war 

According to the official, even after expanding relief operations to help an estimated 8 million people it is not possible to reach all those in need, reports the Guardian.

International aid agencies have been caught off guard by the extent of the suffering in Yemen as parents and children waste away. (Photo | AFP)

The looming disaster could be "much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives", he said.

Food prices have also nearly doubled in the country, the Save the Children NGO said in a new report.

Yemen has been at civil war for three years after Houthi rebels backed by Iran seized much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia and allies including the United Arab Emirates joined the war in 2015.

Thousands of civilians have been caught in the middle by airstrikes and mortar bombardments.

ALSO READ | 15 civilians dead in strikes on minibuses in Yemen's Hodeida: UN 

Trapped also by minefields, huge numbers are hungry and vulnerable to infectious diseases. The country's cholera outbreak has become the worst in history.

At least 10,000 civilians have been killed and millions displaced in what has become a humanitarian catastrophe.



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