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Yemen: a neglected crisis

23 December 2016, Emergencies

Meanwhile, an entire country is on the brink of collapse…  

It’s impossible to explain the situation in Yemen. Or to fathom exactly how it has come to this. 

On the one hand, a ferocious battle between a Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels has killed thousands of civilians and smashed infrastructure to bits. There’s no end to the conflict in sight. 

On the other hand, this is happening in what was already one of the Arab world’s poorest countries. Endemic poverty and disease cruelly exacerbated by war. 

Save the Children’s Yemen Country Director, Edward Santiago explains: "Even before the war, tens of thousands of Yemeni children were dying of preventable causes. But now the situation is much worse and an estimated 1,000 children are dying every week.” 

With a health system in ruin, more than 80% of Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, one-third of which are children. A new report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) describes the situation as "borderline famine". 

To say the scale and complexity of this crisis is frightening is clearly an understatement. 

Save the Children is responding to this dire humanitarian crisis by supporting 60 health facilities with essential equipment, medicines and training across the country. We also run mobile medical teams that provide life-saving nutrition interventions. Our programs to support the crumbling health sector have reached 400,000 people this year, more than half of whom are children. 

*Safwan suffers from malnutrition and is in generally poor health with a serious cough. He has visited Bani Mo’ad health facility, supported by Save the Children, on three occasions where he has been provided with treatment and medicines to address both the malnutrition and his cough. 

*Name has been changed to protect identity. 

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