Tuesday, 12 Dec 2017

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UN: 11m war-torn Yemeni children badly need aid

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Health Desk—Nov 28, 2017: The United Nations children's fund on Sunday warned more than 11 million children in war-torn Yemen are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

"Today it is fair to say that Yemen is one of the worst places on earth to be a child," said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

"Two million children today in Yemen suffer acute malnutrition (and) almost every single Yemeni boy and girl" is in acute need of humanitarian assistance, he told a press conference in Jordan's capital Amman.

"Today we estimate that every 10 minutes a child in Yemen is dying from preventable diseases."

UN officials have warned that Yemen could face the world's largest famine in decades unless a crippling blockade by a Saudi-led coalition battling Huthi rebels is lifted.

The blockade, put in place after Saudi forces intercepted a missile fired by Huthi forces at Riyadh's international airport early this month, has further tightened the coalition's stranglehold on the rebel-held port of Hodeida, the main conduit for UN-supervised deliveries of food and medicine.

A UN plane carrying desperately needed vaccines landed in the rebel-held Yemeni capital Sanaa on Saturday after coalition forces partly lifted the blockade, after warnings that thousands of people could die.

UN officials, however, said desperately needed shipments of food and medicines to Hodeida remain blocked.

 

Courtesy: Afp, Amman