Statement attributable to UNFPA Director for the Arab States Regional Office, Dr. Luay Shabaneh, on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen

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The alarming level of food scarcity in Yemen is putting the lives of 352,000 pregnant women at risk, and could harm the health of 2.2 million women of childbearing age, who are in urgent need of assistance and protection.

In a country with one of the highest maternal death rates in the Arab region, lack of food, poor nutrition and eroding healthcare could mean an increase in premature or low-birth weight babies and severe postpartum bleeding, making the process of giving birth more life threatening.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund is extremely concerned about the health and protection of women and girls in Yemen, especially those who are pregnant as access to food and basic services remains beyond reach for many.

UNFPA is scaling up its efforts, and appealing for $22.1 million under the 2017 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan to meet the urgent sexual and reproductive health needs and respond to gender-based violence.

We remain committed to supporting the Yemeni people and working to prevent this unfolding humanitarian catastrophe.

(Maternal mortality rate for Yemen: 148 per 100,000 live births, 2013 Demographic Health Survey)