UNICEF: 92% of Babies in Yemen Are Underweight at Birth
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Almost all babies in Yemen are born underweight, according to data on childhood nutrition released by UNICEF.
The figures of 92 percent for children born in Yemen are a stark contrast to the worldwide figures of 29 percent over the same period between 2010-2018.
According to the UN body, globally, one in three children under the age of five are undernourished or overweight, Middle East Monitor reported.
“If children eat poorly, they live poorly,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore recently, adding, “We are losing ground in the fight for healthy diets.”
Despite a significant drop in stunting in poor countries, 149 million children are today still too short for their age, a clinical condition that impairs both brain and body development.
For Yemen’s pre-schoolers the figures for stunting are especially severe, with 46 percent affected based on data collected between 2013-2018, compared with 22 percent globally over the same period.
Last month, UNICEF also revealed that two million Yemeni children remain out of school with nearly half a million dropping out since the conflict escalated due to the coalition airstrikes.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.