Jan 30, 2016, 1:44 PM
News Code: 81941329
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UN: More than half of Yemen’s population face hunger

Tehran, Jan 30, IRNA - In Yemen, nearly half of the country’s 22 provinces are ranked as one step away from famine conditions, the United Nation said.

The humanitarian situation has dramatically deteriorated, nearly 300 days after Saudi Arabia began its deadly air campaign in Yemen which has killed more than 7,500 people.

Saudi naval ships are blockading traffic in Yemen’s ports preventing aid reaching the Arab world’s most impoverished nation, AP reported on Friday.

Some 14.4 million Yemenis, more than half of the population, are food insecure, an increase of 12 percent in the last eight months, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said.

In late December, the United Nations World Food Program said 7.8 million of Yemen’s 24 million people are in even more dire condition, “facing life-threatening rates of acute malnutrition,” up by more than 3 million in less than a year.

It said 10 of the country’s 22 provinces are in “the grip of severe food insecurity” at the “emergency” level, one step short of famine on the agency’s 5-level scale of food security.

In Taiz, with a population of about 250,000, residents have been going hungry for weeks, the WFP said.

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said recently that basic services in Taiz are scarce, including access to water and fuel.

The severe shortage of food, fuel and medicine across Yemen led to an increase in the number of children suffering from malnutrition while the destruction of health facilities treating them led to deaths.

Some 3 million children under five years require services to treat or prevent malnutrition, according to a UNICEF report on January 13.