Yemen | Malnutrition surges among young children as conditions worsen

Yemen | Malnutrition surges among young children as conditions worsen

27/10/2020

Acute malnutrition rates among children under five are the highest ever recorded in parts of Yemen, with more than half a million cases in southern districts, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition analysis released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and partners.

The analysis – which is for 133 districts in southern parts of Yemen only, home to 1.4 million children under five – reveals a near 10 percent increase in cases of acute malnutrition in 2020. The greatest increase is in cases of young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with a 15.5 percent rise during 2020.  This leaves at least 98,000 children under five at high risk of dying without urgent treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

A dangerous combination of factors, driven by conflict and economic decline, compound the situation for Yemen’s youngest children. In the worst hit areas included in this analysis -- Abyan lowlands (23%), Lahj lowlands (21%), Taiz lowlands (22%)—around one in five children are acutely malnourished. In Hodeidah’s lowlands, more than one in four or 27% of children are acutely malnourished.