Yemen: Intl Red Cross calls situation 'catastrophic'

UN says 850,000 Yemeni children have acute malnutrition

11 August, 19:54

    Distribution of food rations in Sanaa, Yemen Distribution of food rations in Sanaa, Yemen

    GENEVA - The International Committee of the Red Cross (CICR) on Tuesday sounded an alarm over the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, calling it "catastrophic" and "worsening day by day".

    "The world needs to wake up to what is happening," said Peter Maurer, CICR president, on a three-day mission in the country.

    The UN also voiced its concern and said the country is falling into a food crisis.

    Hilal Elver, UN special envoy on the right to food, said more than 12.9 million people in the country survive without adequate access to basic food, and six million are considered severely food insecure.

    "The situation facing children in the country is particularly alarming, with reports suggesting that 850,000 Yemeni children face acute malnutrition, a figure that is expected to rise to 1.2 million over the coming weeks, if the conflict persists as its present level," she said.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) said access to life-saving treatments is diminishing at an alarming rate, with about 23% of health structures no longer operative or only partially operative, due to violence in the country.

    Despite the organization's presence in the country, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said only 23 million dollars have been received from donors, against the 151 million dollars requested to finance the health needs of the displaced there.

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