Al Dhale’e, Yemen, 24 October 2018 – In Yemen, the food and nutrition crisis has been exacerbated by the current conflict, which escalated in 2015, and subsequent economic crisis. This dire situation pushed additional millions of Yemeni people to acute need of food, contributing to a tremendous outbreak of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases in different areas in the country. One out of three children in Yemen and one out of five pregnant and lactating mothers are at risk of acute malnutrition. A child with severe acute malnutrition is 12 times more at risk of death than a healthy child.
The district of Al Azariq in Al Dhale’e governorate is one the most affected areas in the South of Yemen and the number of SAM cases among children under the age of 5 years in the last months has significantly increased. In response to the situation, UNICEF deployed several mobile clinics delivering integrated lifesaving nutrition services to affected children and their families, such as malnutrition screening and referral to nearby therapeutic feeding centers for both children and pregnant and lactating women, distribution of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), therapeutic milks and antibiotics for SAM treatment, and provision of targeted supplementary feeding programmes, in order to prevent more children from dying of malnutrition causes.