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UN: Yemen Plummets Into Severe Food, Humanitarian Crisis

Common Dreams staff

"Yemen is sliding ever further into a humanitarian crisis," WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday. (photo: Annasofie Flamand / IRIN)

A worsening food crisis is sweeping Yemen, leaving nearly half of the population food insecure according to the UN's World Food Program (WFP).

"Yemen is sliding ever further into a humanitarian crisis," WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday, and said that "more than 10 million people, or about half the population, is hungry and needs food."

Stressing that the crisis must become a major global priority, Valerie Amos, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told Gulf News, “You have 10 million people who are short of food, five million of them facing acute malnutrition, and a record number of children under five who have been stunted as a result of that.”   

The WFP's newest Comprehensive Food Security Survey of Yemen shows the country's food security has plummeted since their last survey two years ago.  Now "Millions regularly go to bed hungry, having skipped meals and, in far too many cases, having gone the whole day without eating," the report states.

While global donors have pledged billions in aid to Yemen, much of that money has not brought relief to hungry civians. 

As Democracy Now!'s Juan Gonzalez pointed out earlier this year: "Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world despite receiving over $300 million in military and security aid from the United States over the past five years. Much of that money has gone into an aggressive and controversial counterterrorism campaign rather than programs of humanitarian relief."

The U.S. continues to engage in a covert war on terror in Yemen, frequently using drone strikes, which have killed civilians. 

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