Hungry Children, 2010 – Yemen’s aid appeal only received 30% of the amount needed to completely prevent mass starvation, could the link with Al-Qaeda account for the gap?
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Nearly half of Yemeni children under five are underweight, and some 58% grow up stunted due to a limited diet. What will become of this poverty-stricken state if the international community fails to act fast?
“Our daily life is not ok”, Mariam struggles every day to find enough to feed her family; until recently a UN program gave wheat in exchange for schooling. But funding was cut, and now the girls must work or go hungry. The West is well aware of Yemen’s reputation as a haven for Al-Qaeda, but what do we know of the human suffering? “The government of Yemen, at the risk of seeing its people die of hunger, refused to issue an appeal on account of national pride”, economist Aryani explains that the wealthy in power are turning their backs on the growing number of hungry and poor. Decades of development work has been wiped away by the ‘Triple F’ crisis: soaring food prices, plunging fuel revenues, and the financial crisis drying up remittances of Yemenis abroad. As to the tense political situation; Giancarlo Cirri of the World Food Programme warns: “the destabilising role of hunger should not be underestimated”. With a third of Yemen’s 23 million population now despertae for food, aid is urgently needed to counteract this deadly spiral into poverty.
Produced by Hugh Macleod and Annasofie Flamand. Ref – 4885
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