Sanaa: David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), warned that Yemen is heading towards the biggest famine in modern history.
"Just two days ago, I was in Yemen, where over 16 million people now face crisis levels of hunger or worse. These aren't just numbers. These are real people. And we are headed straight toward the biggest famine in modern history," he told the UN Security Council on Thursday.
"It is hell on earth in many places in Yemen right now. Around 400,000 children may die in Yemen this year without urgent intervention. That is roughly one child every 75 seconds."
"So, while we're sitting here, every minute and a quarter, a child is dying. Are we really going to turn our backs on them and look the other way?.
"To add to all their misery, the innocent people of Yemen have to deal with a fuel blockade... The people of Yemen deserve our help. That blockade must be lifted, as a humanitarian act. Otherwise, millions more will spiral into crisis," the WFP chief added.
Beasley further said that global man-made conflicts are driving instability and powering a destructive new wave of famine that threatens to sweep across the world.
According to the WFP, its aim to feed 13 million of Yemen's most vulnerable people each month, is the largest in the world.
Despite ongoing humanitarian assistance, 16.2 million Yemenis are food insecure.
The UN agency added that the rate of child malnutrition in the war-torn country is one of the highest in the world and the nutrition situation continues to deteriorate.
A recent survey revealed that almost one-third of families have gaps in their diets, and hardly ever consume foods like pulses, vegetables, fruit, dairy products or meat.
Malnutrition rates among women and children in Yemen remain among the highest in the world, with 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women and 2.3 million children under 5 requiring treatment for acute malnutrition.
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