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Massive malnutrition deaths among children in Yemen

Eighty-five thousand children under the age of five are estimated to have died from acute malnutrition in Yemen during the course of the three-year war there.

The United Nations has declared that up to 14 million Yemenis are suffering from famine, with the war causing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Save the Children charity has calculated that 84,700 children died between April 2015 and October 2018 from untreated cases of severe malnutrition.

The aid workers in Yemen say many cases go unreported because only half of the country’s health facilities are operational and many people are too poor to access those that are open.

Food, medicines and other humanitarian aid and supplies are also not reaching the country.

“For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death and it’s entirely preventable,” said Save the Children’s Yemen director Tamer Kirolos.

“Children who die in this way suffer immensely as their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop. Their immune systems are so weak they are more prone to infections with some too frail to even cry.

“Parents are having to witness their children wasting away, unable to do anything about it.”

If acute malnutrition is left untreated, up to 30 per cent of children in the conflicted are will die each year, the charity stated.

Fighting in Yemen worsened in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition launched an air attack against the Houthi rebel movement that had forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee the country.