Yemen famine could become worst in living memory: UN

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Sanaa, Oct 25 (IANS) The ongoing famine in Yemen could become one of the worst famines in living memory, a top UN emergency relief official has warned.

The country is in “clear and present danger” of mass deaths from starvation, and as many as 14 million people or half the population could soon be entirely dependent on aid to survive, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said on Wednesday.

According to the official, even after expanding relief operations to help an estimated 8 million people it is not possible to reach all those in need, reports the Guardian.

The looming disaster could be “much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives”, he said.

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Food prices have also nearly doubled in the country, the Save the Children NGO said in a new report.

Yemen has been at civil war for three years after Houthi rebels backed by Iran seized much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia and allies including the United Arab Emirates joined the war in 2015.

Thousands of civilians have been caught in the middle by airstrikes and mortar bombardments.

Trapped also by minefields, huge numbers are hungry and vulnerable to infectious diseases. The country’s cholera outbreak has become the worst in history.

At least 10,000 civilians have been killed and millions displaced in what has become a humanitarian catastrophe.

–IANS

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