SANAA, Yemen — A year of Yemen's turmoil has exacerbated the number of malnourished children under the age of five to around 750,000, UNICEF said Tuesday, appealing to the government and the international community to help develop the country's infrastructure to tackle the problem.
In some parts of this country of 20 million people, the number of children suffering from malnutrition has doubled from what it was in 2000, said Maria Calivis, the UNICEF director for Middle East and North Africa. Calivis told The Associated Press the figure crosses the "emergency threshold," an international standard calling for urgent action.
"The number itself says it's a crisis," Calivis said. "The crisis can be an invisible one because it is (mostly) outside, in remote areas."Calivis met with the country's new prime minister and Cabinet officials who she said were "not only surprised but shocked" by the figure.
Yemen has for years experienced localized insurgencies, and the number of displaced people has increased during the year-long uprising against authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh, inspired by other Arab Spring revolts. (AP)