‘Food and aid are being used as weapons of war’ – Save the Children Statement on Yemen

Latest IPC assessement shows country heading closer to famine

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 - 1:55pm
A little girl suffering from acute malnutrition is pictured in a clinic supported by Save the Children in Sana'a, Yemen
 
A worrying announcement this morning in Yemen suggests the country is drawing even closer to famine. The latest IPC assessment, released today, shows 17 million people – or 60 percent of the population – are now food insecure. This is a 20 percent increase, or about 3 million more people, since the previous assessment in June 2016. Of particular concern are the 6.8 million people now classed as ‘IPC-4’ and on the verge of famine.
 
Kevin Watkins, Save the Children CEO, said: 
 
“By bombing and blocking Yemen’s main port – the country’s lifeline for essential supplies – Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies are restricting the delivery of food and other aid by sea. Meanwhile, warring parties are detaining aid workers and hampering the delivery of food, medicines and vital supplies by land. This crisis is not an act of nature – it is man-made. Food and aid are being used as weapons of war.
  
“Our teams are seeing skeletal children on the brink of death. We’re helping pregnant women who have starved themselves to feed their families. And we’re treating babies who have been sick since birth with diseases that are preventable and easily curable with the right medicines. 
 
“But right now, the odds are stacked against us. We’ve had three shipments of life-saving medical aid delayed by the coalition so far this year – and children are dying as a result.
 
“The UK Government has been a global leader in supporting aid efforts in Yemen, and the public have donated generously through emergency appeals. More aid is vital. But to be effective, it has to be delivered swiftly. The UK must stand up for the children whose lives are at stake.”
 
**New visuals of children suffering from acute malnutrition are available for download: http://storycentral.savethechildren.org.uk/?c=45175&k=8cf8881b26**
 
For more information about delays to Save the Children’s shipments of medical aid for Yemen see here
 
For more information or to arrange interviews with spokespeople in London or Yemen please contact r.villar@savethechildren.org.uk or call +44 20 7012 6841 (+44 7831 650 409 out of hours) 
 
**Support Save the Children's Yemen Crisis Appeal here**