World Food Programme seeks to avert 'nutrition catastrophe' in crisis-hit Yemen

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

Under its Emergency Operation 201068, the WFP will target 1.9 million children and women through its nutrition activities.
Under its Emergency Operation 201068, the WFP will target 1.9 million children and women through its nutrition activities.
The UN's World Food Programme is seeking to improve the nutrition of 1.9 million children and women in war-torn Yemen by delivering targetted supplementary feeding programmes in the Middle East's poorest nation.

Officials say the current level of hunger and malnutrition in Yemen is unprecedented, with 3.3 million children, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, acutely malnourished and in need of urgent treatment.

With up to 67% of children under five years old chronically malnourished (stunted), and the rates of acute malnutrition (wasting) exceeding 25% in some areas, they say the the physical and mental development of Yemeni children is severely at risk.

Under its Emergency Operation 201068, the WFP will target 1.9 million children and women through its nutrition activities. Targeted supplementary feeding programmes will treat moderate and acute malnutrition in children aged six to 59 months with a ready-to-use supplementary food, which provides 535 kcal per day for an average of 90 days.

Micronutrient deficiencies

Acutely malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women will receive a monthly 6 kg take-home ration of a fortified blended flour from the beginning of the second trimester though to the first six months of breastfeeding.

Children aged six to 23 months will receive preventative monthly 1.5 kg entitlements of a lipid-based nutrient supplement, which provides a daily 281 kcal and essential micronutrients. Pregnant and breastfeeding women will receive a monthly 6 kg entitlement of SuperCereal to prevent under-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

"The WFP is prioritising its assistance in consultation with other humanitarian partners, targeting people in highest priority governorates and districts. To avert a looming nutrition catastrophe, the WFP, in collaboration with its key partners — UNICEF, WHO and the Nutrition Cluster partners — ​will provide an integrated package of nutrition and food assistance, with complementary activities that use limited resources by focusing on areas at the highest risk in order to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, and respond to the needs of each Yemeni family as a whole,"​ said officials.

Conditions for civilians in Yemen have deteriorated significantly since civil war broke out in 2014.

Since then, Saudi Arabia, and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states, have supported an air campaign aimed at restoring the internationally recognised government.

Related topics: Policy, Middle East, Fortification

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