Yemen: amid food crisis, UN expert warns of deliberate starvation of civilians

Yemen: amid food crisis, UN expert warns of deliberate starvation of civilians

As Yemen plunges deeper into conflict, the country now finds itself in the midst of a major food crisis, a United Nations expert said today as she expressed her deep concern over possibly deliberate starvation of civilians.

“As the conflict continues to escalate, over 12.9 million people in Yemen are now surviving without adequate access to basic food supplies, including six million who are deemed severely food insecure,” warned Hilal Elver, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, in a press release issued earlier this morning.

The situation facing children in the country is particularly alarming, she stressed, with reports suggesting that 850,000 of them face acute malnutrition – a figure that is expected to rise to 1.2 million over the coming weeks, if the conflict persists as its present level.

Sieges in a number of governorates, including Aden, Al Dhali, Lahj and Taiz, have been preventing staple food items, such as wheat, from reaching the civilian population, while airstrikes have reportedly targeted local markets and trucks laden with food items (…)

According to the latest data released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the ongoing conflict in Yemen has taken a heavy toll on civilians, more than 1,895 of whom have been killed by fighting since March. More than 15 million people have no access to basic healthcare, while half the population does not have enough food to feed their families.