IRIN, GlobalPost Examine Malnutrition In Yemen

IRIN reports that “[a]id workers hope ‘shocking’ new malnutrition figures from a survey conducted in western Yemen will help highlight the serious humanitarian situation in the country and prompt donors to act immediately.” The survey, conducted by Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population and supported by UNICEF, “found a global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate of 31.7 percent — meaning nearly one third of children surveyed suffered from either moderate or severe acute malnutrition — of which nearly 10 percent were severe cases. These figures are more than double the internationally recognized emergency threshold of 15 percent,” IRIN writes (12/27).

GlobalPost reports, “Even before Yemen plunged into chaos this year … rates of malnutrition were the third highest in the world, higher than anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, behind only India and Bangladesh, according to the [World Food Programme (WFP)].” The news service writes that “[i]n this ‘silent emergency,’ as aid workers describe it, women suffer miscarriages, children are taken out of school to earn money and girls are married off early.” “Facing a $60 million shortfall in its 2011 budget for Yemen, WFP said it may no longer be able to distribute food rations to the displaced in [the port city of] Aden, let alone reach the millions of ordinary Yemenis going hungry across the country,” GlobalPost notes (Flamand/Macleod, 12/24).