(Dubai) Millions of children face an increased risk of malnutrition in Yemen if funds are not urgently allocated to this country at war, where a child already dies every ten minutes, alerted Friday UNICEF.
Of the 11 million children in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, “more than 540,000 children under the age of five suffer from severe, life-threatening acute malnutrition,” the UN agency said in a statement.
“And a child dies (on average) every ten minutes from preventable causes,” she added.
The organization said it “urgently needs $484 million” in 2023 to continue its intervention in this country, the poorest on the Arabian Peninsula, devastated by more than eight years of war.
“Without urgent action, millions of children could face heightened risks of malnutrition,” she warned.
“If the funds don’t arrive, UNICEF may be forced to reduce its lifesaving assistance to vulnerable children,” she insisted.
At the end of February, donor countries pledged $1.2 billion for the people of Yemen, much to the chagrin of aid organizations who were demanding more than $4 billion.
According to the United Nations, more than 21.7 million people, or two-thirds of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance this year.
Since then, the war has left hundreds of thousands dead—direct or indirect victims of the conflict—and millions displaced.
More than 11,000 children have been killed or maimed, according to UNICEF.
The UN and aid organizations, which lack funding, regularly warn of large-scale famine in the country.
A UN-brokered truce in April 2022 expired in early October without the parties to the conflict reaching an agreement to extend it. But the situation remained relatively calm on the ground.