Following a new UN report finding that cases of severe acute malnutrition in some areas of Yemen increased by 15.5 percent, Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds said:
“Children in Yemen have become collateral damage in a war that has raged for more than five years.
“It is horrific to think that almost 100,000 children under five in Yemen are on the brink of starvation – malnourished to the point their lives are on the line. And the numbers may be even higher across the whole country.
“Hunger should not exist today, yet malnutrition rates are soaring in conflict zones like Yemen.
“Years of conflict have drastically impacted family’s access to nutritious food and basic health services, crippling the economy and pushing more and more families deeper into poverty.
“Making matters worse, major shortfalls in funding since March have seen huge decrease in vital services to bring children back from the brink of starvation.
“Children are paying the ultimate price. We cannot allow children to suffer in such a way, to have their childhoods taken away from them.
“We know that severe malnutrition has a major impact on children’s long-term development and future life outcomes, should they survive.
“Parties to the conflict need to stop the fighting and work towards a peace agreement. The rest of the world including Australia must step up and fund the humanitarian response, as well as end the supply of arms to combatants.
“It is unthinkable that in 2020 such large-scale suffering among children could be allowed to take place.”
To donate to Save the Children’s Yemen Appeal go to www.savethechildren.org.au/yemencrisis.