Children Already at Risk of Malnutrition in Yemen in Urgent Humanitarian Need amid Conflict

News and Press Release
Originally published

International Medical Corps Responding

April 10, 2015 - LOS ANGELES/LONDON – As the violence in Yemen continues, hundreds of thousands of children, already malnourished prior to the start of the recent conflict, are in dire need of humanitarian relief to stay alive. Health facilities are struggling to meet the needs of those affected by the conflict, especially children. Food, nutrition supplies, medicines, water, fuel and electricity are reported to be in extremely short supply. Maintaining these resources is critical to keeping malnourished children and those in vulnerable communities alive. In response, International Medical Corps’ team in Yemen is providing lifesaving medical and nutrition services through mobile medical teams and delivering vital medications and supplies to health facilities.

“Much of the country last year was already at crisis levels for malnutrition, with some of the highest rates in the world. The recent violence is only exacerbating this situation, leaving many children at immediate risk of dying,” said Chris Skopec, Senior Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response, International Medical Corps. “Getting medical and nutrition supplies in country and distributed to the areas most at risk is a top priority. But with the severe fuel shortages and continued violence, the window of opportunity to assist is rapidly closing. The international community must act now.”

More than 10 million Yemenis are in need of food and specialized nutrition assistance, including 850,000 acutely malnourished children, of whom 160,000 are severely acutely malnourished according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. International Medical Corps is distributing existing stockpiles of medical and nutrition supplies to meet basic nutritional needs, and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to vulnerable communities. In addition, the organization is continuing to operate mobile medical teams where possible to provide health and nutrition consultations. As there are anticipated nationwide shortages of specialized foods such as Ready to Use Therapeutic foods which are critical in treating malnutrition, International Medical Corps is working with international partners to source additional supplies.

International Medical Corps’ work in the Middle East region began in 2003 following the start of the Iraq war. Today the organization’s humanitarian programs span Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Turkey and Yemen. International Medical Corps has worked in Yemen since 2012, delivering robust humanitarian programs in the areas of primary health care, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

About International Medical Corps:
Since its inception 30 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Los Angeles
Lisa Ellis
Director of Global Communications

Kerry-Jane Kingsmill
Director of Resource Development & Communications
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