Dubai: As many as 85,000 infants under the age of five may have died of starvation or a disease since 2015 in war-ravaged Yemen, humanitarian organisation Save the Children said on Wednesday.
It said the estimate was based on data compiled by the UN, which has warned that up to 14 million people are at risk of famine in Yemen, where Saudi-backed forces are battling Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.
“For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death and it’s entirely preventable,” said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s country director in Yemen. “Children who die in this way suffer immensely as their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop,” he said.
“Their immune systems are so weak they are more prone to infections with some too frail to even cry. Parents have to witness their children wasting away, unable to do anything about it.” Hodeida port, the entry point for 80% of food imports and aid into Yemen, has been under blockade by the Saudi-led coalition backing the govt since 2017.