The UN children agency says over 7 million children in Yemen now face serious threat of famine as the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s war continues against the nation.
The agency adds that ending the war, now in its fourth year, is not enough to put an end to the plight of the Yemenis.
“Today, 1.8 million children under the age of five are facing acute malnutrition, and 400,000 are affected by severe acute malnutrition,” said Mr Geert Cappelaere, regional director of UNICEF.
“More than half” of the 14 million people at serious risk of famine in the impoverished country are children,” Mr Cappelaere told AFP late on Wednesday.
He added that ongoing war, since March 2015, continuously made things worse.
“The war is exacerbating the situation that was already bad before because of years of underdevelopment,” in the impoverished Arab country,” he pointed out.
Over 6,000 children so far were killed or sustained serious injuries by the coalition air and ground raids.
He also hailed the UN efforts to restart talks for a settlement to the crisis, adding that the next 30 days are “critical” to improving aid distribution. That is if Riyadh refrains from setting up roadblocks in front of the intra-Yemeni peace process.
In early September, Saudi coalition fighter jets prevented a UN plane from taking the Yemeni Ansarullah movement delegation to the talks in Geneva.
The international aid agencies and rights organizations call the Yemeni suffering the worst in years and the biggest humanitarian crisis.
Riyadh waged a war, assisted by the Arab allies, in early 2015 on neighboring Yemen. The aggression so far killed thousands, injured further, and yet displaced millions.
The campaign was launched with a Western, mainly American, green light after Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi resigned and fled the country to Saudi Arabia.
Saudis insist that they want to reinstate Hadi in power. But the ousted president is home-unrecognized and Ansarullah movement, leading the revolution, says Yemenis will never accept a foreign-foisted president in the country.
The US, France, Britain, and Germany support Saudi-Emirati alliance directly and indirectly. Washington sells cutting-edge fighter jets and bombs to the alliance, beside refueling its bombers in midair by its tankers. The European powers each contribute to the war by sending arms or logistically helping the campaign on the ground, including offering targeting systems and training.
That is all beside the diplomatic support for the Saudis at the UN which helps shield them against pressures and sanctions.