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500,000 children in Yemen facing malnutrition: UNICEF

Yemeni children stand next to a photograph displayed during an exhibition condemning the Saudi-led military campaign on September 8, 2015, in the capital, Sana'a. (AFP photo)

The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, warns that over 500,000 children in Yemen are facing severe life-threatening malnutrition.

"The stunting rates in Yemen are likely to go up. It means children do not reach their full height, but also that their cognitive capacities are affected, which becomes a permanent burden on the whole society," the head of UNICEF, Anthony Lake, said on Tuesday.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) said in August that Yemen’s humanitarian crisis has pushed the country to the verge of famine, adding that some 13 million people are food insecure and six million of them are in severe condition.

The warning came as Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, has been under the Saudi military’s bombardment since March 26. The military aggression is meant to undermine the Yemeni Ansarullah Houthi movement and bring Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power.

The file photo shows displaced Yemeni children, who have Sa'ada province due to the Saudi aggression. (AFP photo)

The Saudi aggression has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 7,500 people and injured nearly 14,000 others. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

Aid groups’ access to the affected areas in the Middle Eastern country has been severely restricted.

The UN has been pushing for peace talks between members of the Ansarullah movement and Hadi’s government in order to find a political solution to the country’s ongoing crisis.

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