Yemen on the verge of a humanitarian crisis

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children in Yemen

Yemen is likely to experience a major humanitarian crisis unless urgent donor funding is made available to tackle growing malnutrition and control disease outbreaks, according to United Nations agencies.

The crisis is being driven by insecurity which has left a large proportion of the population without adequate food, while damage to the health infrastructure has left a large number of children vulnerable to diseases like polio and measles.

The United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) says nearly 270,000 children may die in the coming months as a result of malnutrition.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the poor nutritional status of children in Yemen has left many of them vulnerable to diseases such as polio and measles.

Funding for the 1.5 billion dollar Yemen 2012 humanitarian response plan currently stands at 25 per cent.

Marixie Mercado is from UNICEF.

"A recent up date on the nutrition data shows a significant increase in the numbers of acutely malnourished children to 967,000 or almost one four young children. This number includes over a quarter of a million or 267,000 who need immediate specialized life saving care. All of these children risk irreversible physical and cognitive damage. UNICEF and our partners are calling for all parties to the conflict in Yemen to respect obligations to protect children in conflict. And for all partners who are friends of Yemen to dig deep for funding, it's been for decades chronically under-invested in and it shows in the indicators for children."

Duration: 42"

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