Every day children are perishing in rural Yemen, where two-thirds of the nation’s population lives. Parents are forced to decide between saving their sick children and preventing healthier ones from following the same perilous route. Hunger has long gripped the Middle East’s poorest country, its hold tightening as the nation collapsed after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled President Ali Abdullah Saleh. But Yemen’s 20-month-old civil war has brought the country closer to famine.
The U.N. Children’s Fund estimates that 370,000 Yemeni children are severely malnourished and facing death, and 2 million are in urgent need of help.
“This is an entire generation that’s at risk here,” said Erin Hutchinson, Yemen director for the aid agency Action Against Hunger. “We’re seeing a worsening situation as the conflict continues, and it’s not stabilizing. The needs are only deepening at the moment.”