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In Yemen, More Than 2 Million Children Like Hanan* Don't Have Enough to Eat
With the holiday season in full swing, bells are ringing around the world. But not all of them signal good tidings of joy.
In Yemen, more than two million children under five do not have enough food to eat. "This is a catastrophe that should set off alarm bells around the world," said Save the Children’s country director in Yemen, Xavier Joubert.
Children like one-year-old Hanan* are getting the worst possible start to life due to malnutrition. Without action, an entire generation of children could die because they don’t have enough food to eat.
Living on Little More than Bread
Last year, little Hanan became dangerously malnourished when her father could not find work and struggled to afford even the most essential items for his family.
Eating little more than bread, the family lives in a one-room house, made of rocks in the middle of an almost-abandoned mountain. Without a kitchen or toilet, they must buy water while the nearest market or health facility is at least an hour's walking distance.
When Hanan became malnourished, her family traveled by foot to a health center supported by Save the Children. She weighed just 13.6 pounds.
Thankfully, Hanan received immediate treatment. Combined with a regular supply of nutritious food, after six months, her weight had increased to nearly 20 pounds.
Plunged Into Poverty Due to COVID-19
Hanan's story is not uncommon enough. An estimated 11 million children under five are facing extreme hunger or starvation across eleven countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Middle East and Asia. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse.
In fact, recent analysis by Save the Children shows that 45% of children around the world were severely deprived of access to nutrition, sanitation, water, healthcare, housing and education even before the pandemic.
Today, an additional 150 million children have been plunged into poverty due to COVID-19.
“Families on the cusp of escaping poverty have been pulled back in," said Henrietta Fore, Executive Director. at UNICEF, a co-publisher of the analysis.
"The increase in poverty will make it very hard for the most vulnerable children and their families to make up for the loss,” said Janti Soeripto, CEO of Save the Children.
Your Support Can Help Make Change for Children
Hanan's family received the lifesaving care their one-year-old daughter desperately needed to survive, thanks to the support of donors who make Save the Children's work possible. This holiday season, your gift could save the life of a child faced with extreme hunger, crushing poverty or brutal conflict.
Please support Save the Children – and help make change that protects the lives of a generation of children, as well as the future we share.
* Name changed for protection.
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