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UN's FAO: Five million Yemenis will likely be 'living just one step away from famine' next year

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Malnourished boy Hassan Merzam Muhammad sits with his mother and brothers and sisters inside their hut in Abs district of Hajjah province, Yemen, on November 20, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has warned that 5 million people in war-ravaged Yemen “will likely be living just one step away from famine" in the upcoming year.

The UN agency said in a brief statement posted on its official Twitter account on Sunday that more than half of Yemen's overall population could head further into hunger in 2021.

The statement added that an estimated 50,000 people will be living in famine-like conditions in the conflict-plagued Arab country throughout next year.

FAO noted that immediate support is urgently needed to save Yemen as “UN response remains only 49 percent funded.”

UNSC concerned over military escalation, food insecurity in Yemen

Also on Sunday, the UN Security Council voiced concern over military escalation and food insecurity in Yemen.

The council members, in a press statement, reiterated their commitment to an inclusive intra-Yemeni political process, and reaffirmed the international community's firm commitment to uphold Yemen's sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity.

They also expressed alarm at the new Integrated Food Security Phase Classification assessment, which states that 13.5 million Yemenis are at risk of starvation and are already facing acute food insecurity, and that the figure could soar to at least 16 million by June 2021.

The council members said they are extremely concerned about the fact that several humanitarian programs in Yemen may have to stop due to lack of funding.

They called on donor countries to take actions urgently and save lives in Yemen by disbursing pledged large funds before the end of the current year, and make early and substantial contributions next year to prevent UN program closures.

The statement noted that ongoing clashes between warring sides and economic collapse play a central role in driving famine risks in Yemen, calling for further foreign exchange injections in order to strengthen the economy.

The council members finally underlined the importance of facilitating humanitarian assistance, and stressed the need for continued donor support in order to prevent enormous loss of life in the Arab country.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.

Earlier this month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) offered the staggering death toll of 233,000 from the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

The Houthi Ansarullah movement, backed by armed forces, has been defending Yemen against the Saudi-led alliance, preventing the aggressors from fulfilling the objectives of the atrocious war.

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