YEMEN / CHILDHOOD MALNUTRITION

12-Feb-2021 00:02:22
Nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, four United Nations agencies warned today. Of these, 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment. WFP
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STORY: YEMEN / CHILDHOOD MALNUTRITION
TRT: 2:22
SOURCE: WFP
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT WFP ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC /EGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 11 FEBRUARY 2021, ROME, ITALY /RECENT, VARIOUS LOCATIONS, YEMEN
SHOTLIST
8 SEPTEMBER 2020, TAIZ, YEMEN

1. Various shots, destroyed school
2. Wide shot, destroyed building, street traffic

15 JANUARY 2021, AL-DHALE CITY, YEMEN

3. Various shots, Alia taking her children to a nearby nutrition distribution point. Rawan receives testing and nutritious food
4. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Alia Mohammed Ahmed Hassan:
“We have one meal a day, sometimes two, but often my husband and I, don’t eat at all so that our children can eat.”
5. Various shots, Alia at home with her family, preparing WFP wheat soya blend

11 FEBRUARY 2021, ROME, ITALY

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Corinne Fleischer, WFP Regional Director:
“It shows that after years of conflict, the Yemeni people can’t take it anymore. They can’t feed their families and they don’t have the means to survive without massive assistance going into the country every month. The World Food Programme supports 13 million people every month. The war has to stop and in the meantime, we have to continue to support the Yemenis so that they can feed their families, the children can survive and we have these figures reduced.”

11 NOVEMBER 2020, ABYAN CITY, YEMEN

7. Various shots, WFP food distribution. Abdullah, father of five, receives a ration of wheat flour and goes home.
STORYLINE
Nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, four United Nations agencies warned today. Of these, 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.

The new figures, from the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition report released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, mark an increase of 16 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, from 2020.

The agencies also warned that these were among the highest levels of severe acute malnutrition recorded in Yemen since the escalation of conflict in 2015.

Malnutrition damages a child’s physical and cognitive development, especially during the first two years of a child’s life. It is largely irreversible, perpetuating illness, poverty and inequality.

Preventing malnutrition and addressing its devastating impact starts with good maternal health, yet around 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women in Yemen are projected to be acutely malnourished in 2021.

Years of armed conflict and economic decline, the COVID-19 pandemic and a severe funding shortfall for the humanitarian response are pushing exhausted communities to the brink, with rising levels of food insecurity. Many families are having to resort to reducing the quantity or quality of the food they eat, and in some cases, families are forced to do both.

Acute malnutrition among young children and mothers in Yemen has increased with each year of conflict with a significant deterioration during 2020 driven by high rates of disease, such as diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections and cholera, and rising rates of food insecurity. Among the worst hit governorates are Aden, Al Dhale, Hajjah, Hodeida, Lahj, Taiz and Sana'a City, which account for over half of expected acute malnutrition cases in 2021.

Today, Yemen is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children to grow up. The country has high rates of communicable diseases, limited access to routine immunization and health services for children and families, poor infant and young child feeding practices, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene systems.

Meanwhile, the already fragile health care system is facing the collateral impact of COVID-19, which has drained meagre resources and resulted in fewer people seeking medical care.

The dire situation for Yemen’s youngest children and mothers means any disruptions to humanitarian services – from health to water, sanitation and hygiene, to nutrition, food assistance and livelihoods support – risk causing a deterioration in their nutrition status.

The humanitarian response remains critically underfunded. In 2020, the Humanitarian Response plan received USD 1.9 billion of the USD 3.4 billion required.
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