Yemen: Acute Malnutrition hits record levels in Yemen with a devastating toll on children under five
Over 2.25 million cases of children aged 0 to 59 months, and more than a million cases of pregnant and lactating women, are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in the course of 2021 in Yemen. Out of the 35 zones included in the IPC Acute Malnutrition (IPC AMN) current analysis, two zones were classified in Critical (IPC AMN Phase 4), 26 in Serious (IPC AMN Phase 3) and the remaining seven zones in Alert (IPC AMN Phase 2) during the period of January – July 2020. The situation was projected to deteriorate further during the period of August – December 2020: the number of zones in IPC AMN Phase 4 was expected to increase to 13. An additional analysis of 22 zones in the north for which data is available shows that, during the period of January – March 2021, seven zones will be in Serious (IPC AMN Phase 3) and the remaining 15 zones will be in Critical (IPC AMN Phase 4). This additional projection analysis was only possible for the north since, according to the IPC protocols, projections can only be carried out up to 12 months from data collection.
- High prevalence of communicable diseases (with 2 in 5 children suffering from diarrhoea in the north and 1 in 4 children affected by diarrhoea in the south, while about 60% of children in the north and 25% of children in the south are affected by malaria/fever);
- Elevated levels of acute food insecurity (with all 22 zones projected to be in IPC Acute Food Insecurity Phase 3 or above in the north and 17 of the 19 zones projected to be in IPC Acute Food Insecurity Phase 3 or above in the south);
- Poor Infant and Young Child Feeding practices (with only about 40% in the north and about 50% in the south meeting minimum dietary diversity requirements, while exclusive breastfeeding prevalence being less than 35% in the north and less than 25% in the south);
- Poor access to nutrition and health services (limited access due to conflict in several zones and decline in access and utilization of health and nutrition services as a result of COVID-19);
- Poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are a major concern in all zones.
- Additionally, the direct and indirect effect of COVID-19 (e.g. reduction in remittances, reduced access to markets, difficulty maintaining employment, etc.), and economic shocks, such as delayed salary payments and conflict, have a compounding effect on acute malnutrition.