Yemen aid cuts lead to surge in malnutrition as country marks 9 years of war


ALEXANDRIA, Va –  Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) has released the following statement:

Malnutrition is spiralling in Yemen as people begin to feel the impact of recent cuts to humanitarian aid, Islamic Relief says as the country marks 9 years of war.

Our teams have observed a surge in malnourished children over the past few months through our work in 159 nutrition centres across the country and the price of essential food in the market is rising rapidly, leaving many families unable to afford it.

Since December, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has paused its general food distributions in northern Yemen which were a lifeline for 9.5 million people. In addition, the WFP malnutrition prevention programme is facing a significant shortage of supplies which is affecting critical services.

In January 2024 more than half of UN-surveyed households in Yemen were unable to access adequate food, representing an increase of 11% from November 2023.

After 9 years of war, malnutrition rates in Yemen are some of the highest ever recorded and are expected to worsen. 17.6 million people in Yemen are facing food insecurity while nearly half of all its children are currently estimated to be experiencing moderate to severe stunting. Nearly 80% of the population live below the poverty line in the country. Around 2.7 million women and 5 million children under 5 years old are estimated to require treatment for acute malnutrition in 2024.

Ammar Al-Dumini, Senior media and communications officer with Islamic Relief in Yemen, said:

“The impact of aid cuts to Yemen over the last few months are now clearly being felt and we see this impact in the appalling levels of hunger and malnutrition. These are some of the highest levels the country has ever seen. After 9 years of civil war, the economy is in crisis and inflation is out of control. People have lost their livelihoods and can’t afford to buy enough food. Yemen is one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world but it has been largely forgotten.”

“Aid has been vital in preventing Yemen falling into famine in recent years, and it saved countless lives. But if the international community continues to overlook the humanitarian situation in Yemen then we will see conditions badly deteriorate again.”

Islamic Relief, which works in 14 out of 22 governates across the country, urgently appeals to the international community to ensure the humanitarian response in Yemen is appropriately funded.

In addition to providing food, cash, vocational training, and income support, Islamic Relief is on the ground ensuring that vulnerable Yemenis have access to clean water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene kits. We work in 159 health and nutrition centres across Yemen supporting 77,719 children under five and 91,879 pregnant and lactating women who are admitted for treatment to regain a healthy weight.




Syed M. Hassan  or
(571) 421-7032 (CELL)




Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to provide relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. Its programs benefit millions of people each year in more than 40 countries around the world, including in the United States.

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