A child in Yemen dies of malnutrition every 10 minutes, according to UNICEF


According to a recent report by the U.N. children's fund UNICEF, over 400,000 children in Yemen are in danger of starvation — a child dying of malnutrition and its effects every 10 minutes. Additionally, almost 2.2 million children in the country are in need of immediate care.

Child starvation in Yemen

Based on current figures, 462,000 children in Yemen currently suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which has reached an unprecedented high in the country. These numbers have actually increased by nearly 200% since 2014.

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Yemeni children emaciated, victims of food shortages among war
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Yemeni children emaciated, victims of food shortages among war
A malnourished boy lies on a bed outside his family's hut in al-Tuhaita district of the Red Sea province of Hodaida, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A girl carries her sister at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
An eight-year-old malnourished boy lies on a bed in the emergency ward of a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Salem Abdullah Musabih, 6, is held by his mother as she sits on a bed at a malnutrition intensive care unit at a hospital in the Red Sea port city of Hodaida, Yemen September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A nurse checks a boy at a hospital intensive care unit in Sanaa, Yemen September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Salem Abdullah Musabih, 6, lies on a bed at a malnutrition intensive care unit at a hospital in the Red Sea port city of Hodaida, Yemen September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A drip is connected to a child at a malnutrition intensive care unit in Sanaa, Yemen September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Salem Abdullah Musabih, 6, sits on a bed at a malnutrition intensive care unit at a hospital in the Red Sea port city of Hodaida, Yemen September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Women sit with their children at a malnutrition intensive care unit at a hospital in the Red Sea port city of Hodaida, Yemen September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A corridor is seen in a malnutrition intensive care unit at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A man shows food vouchers, which a community leader said are counterfeit, at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A woman holds her malnourished boy after he was weighed at a hospital malnutrition intensive care unit in Sanaa, Yemen September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A malnourished boy holds an empty milk bottle at a hospital malnutrition intensive care unit in Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A boy cries at a hospital malnutrition intensive care unit in Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A child lies in a hospital intensive care unit in Sanaa, Yemen September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Food is cooked inside a tent at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sanaa, Yemen September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A family eat breakfast outside their hut at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A woman holds her child at the door of her hut in al-Tuhaita district of the Red Sea province of Hodaida, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A boy holds a kettle as he walks outside his family's hut at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A girl stands at her family's hut at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah SEARCH "FAMINE YEMEN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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According to the UNICEF website, "Children with severe acute malnutrition have very low weight for their height and severe muscle wasting." These children often become stunted — shorter than they should be at their age — which can affect their physical and mental health for years to come. Children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition need immediate treatment, and even if they survive, can experience a number of irrevocable effects.

In a statement reported by Al Jazeera, Meritxell Relano, UNICEF's acting representative, said, "The state of health of children in the Middle East's poorest country has never been as catastrophic as it is today."

What is happening in Yemen?

Today, Yemen is the sight of national destruction and devastation due to a sectarian proxy war between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, as Mic previously reported. Saudi Arabia backs the Yemeni government while Iran supports the Shiite Houthi rebels.

The war has taken an overwhelming toll on the country, as people have been driven from their homes by repeated airstrikes that have leveled buildings and killed more than 10,000 civilians, according to Al Jazeera. This has also led to the ruination of Yemen's health care system, which is on the brink of collapse.

UNICEF has tried time and again to help people understand the severity of the situation in Yemen through the eyes of its children. Earlier this year, for example, a 12-year-old boy named Abdullah took pictures of his home and the destruction that has occurred there, which UNICEF shared in order to help the world see the price all Yemenis, young and old, are paying for this war.

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