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The New Arab

EU targets 'alarming' food instability in Yemen

Yemeni children have been especially affected by malnutrition [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 January, 2017

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The EU has pledged 12 million euros to the fight against hunger in Yemen.
The EU has pledged 12 million euros to the UN to help ease the crisis in Yemen where 14 million people are now lacking access to adequate food.

Those affected include 2.2 million children who are suffering from malnutrition across the country.

"This is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. People’s access to food is rapidly worsening and urgent action is needed," said Salah Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen.

"The EU’s contribution will greatly strengthen our ability to collect critical data on food security so that swift action can be taken to avert a further deterioration in the situation.

"It will also boost efforts to build the resilience of farmers and herders, especially women, by helping them to increase the value of their agricultural production," he added.

This is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. People’s access to food is rapidly worsening and urgent action is needed
- Salah Hajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen

Agriculture plays a critical role in food security in Yemen, especially for those living in rural areas of the country, where insecurity and isolation mean food and other forms of humanitarian assistance are intermittent.

The EU funds will aim to provide support to more than 150,000 people, with the project aiming to support 'income-generating activities', such as backyard poultry rearing, dairy production, and beekeeping. 

Virtually all of Yemen faces severe food shortages with millions of people in an "emergency" situation, UN agencies warned in June.

Many are afflicted with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), which makes them especially vulnerable to otherwise preventable illnesses like diarrhoea and pneumonia.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country's health facilities. A number of hospitals and clinics have been bombed, while others have had to close their doors because of the fighting.

Less than a third of Yemen's 24 million people have access to health facilities, according to UNICEF, which says at least 1,000 Yemeni children die every week from preventable diseases.

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