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A mother holds her six-year-old son at a hospital in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida. Photograph: Abduljabbar Zeyad/Reuters
According to the Guardian, United Nations has announced that Yemen is sliding fast toward what could become one of the worst famines in living memory.
The country is in “clear and present danger” of mass deaths from starvation, and as many as 14 million people, half the population, could soon be entirely dependent on aid to survive.
Fighting is blocking shipments from getting into the country, let alone to those who need it.
Even after expanding relief operations to help an estimated 8 million people, it is not possible to reach all those in need.
Food prices have also nearly doubled in the country.
People queue to collect drinking water from a standpipe in Sana’a.
Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA
Yemen has been at civil war for three years. Thousands of civilians have been caught in the middle by airstrikes and mortar bombardments.
Trapped also by minefields, huge numbers are hungry and vulnerable to infectious diseases. The country’s cholera outbreak has become the worst in history.
At least 10,000 civilians have been killed and millions displaced in what has become an urgent humanitarian catastrophe.
The direct impact of the violence has been compounded by the slow collapse of the national economy.
Many public sector salaries haven’t been paid for months or even years. With up to a third of Yemenis employed in the civil service, millions have been left without any income.
Even for those who still getting paid, feeding themselves and their families is a challenge.
The Yemeni riyal is now worth barely a third of 2015 levels, and the weakness of the currency and supply shortages caused by the war have combined to push food prices up.
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