Saturday, 18 June 2011

MALNUTRITION: Yemen on verge of disaster: UNICEF rep

Jun 8, 2011

A Yemeni girl writes on a wall as she and other children play in an alley of the old city of Sana'a. (file photo)

The Yemen representative for the United Nations Children's Fund has warned about the sheer scale of the crisis in the country, saying it could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.
"This country is absolutely in dire need of humanitarian assistance," Geert Cappelaere said.
Cappelaere said that 50 percent of Yemeni children “have stunted growth,” adding that "malnutrition levels are horrendous. Food prices are going up, so malnutrition levels that are already high are going up too," Reuters reported on Tuesday.
"We hope that a solution to the political stalemate will come soon, but even if it comes this is not an end to the problems. We cannot emphasize that enough. Forty percent of the population lives below the poverty line and the repercussions of this are just huge."
The UNICEF representative added that the citizens of Sana'a are also suffering from shortages of water and fuel.
Earlier on Tuesday, at least 19 people, including three children, were killed in clashes between Yemeni tribesmen and troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
On Saturday, President Saleh left Yemen for Saudi Arabia, one day after he was injured in an attack on his presidential compound in the capital Sana'a.
Saleh's vice president said that the Yemeni leader would return within days.
Anti-government protesters, who have turned out for rallies in the major cities since late January, called for a swift transfer of power in Saleh's absence.
Hundreds of people have been killed in a brutal crackdown on protesters since the beginning of the Yemeni revolution.

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