Yemen's children suffer from lack of medicine, aid cut

Local Editor

With medicines run short and humanitarian aid cut, millions of Yemeni children who are starving under war and blockade are suffering a lot.

Sayyaf Abdulsamad, a father, is trying to save the life of his little daughter. After medicines ran out in the hospitals of the northern province of Amran, he rushed her to a public hospital in the center of the capital Sanaa.

The malnourished girl arrived unconscious at Al-Sabeen hospital earlier this week.

"My daughter suffers from a protein deficiency," the father told Xinhua. "At first, I took her to some hospitals in Amran, but they had no medicine, then I rushed her to Sanaa to the malnutrition ward in Al-Sabeen Hospital."

Her doctors said in the crowded malnutrition ward that she and many other children could not survive due to the unprecedented crisis of medicines.

"We have received a notification from the hospital administration that it is possible since the beginning of July that aid from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) would be stopped. This will cause a big problem with patients' families because they will have to pay hospital fees," doctor Abdul Rahman Al-Rumayma told Xinhua in the Al-Sabeen's malnutrition ward.

"Under war and blockade, this is a problem that burdens the citizens, and we call on the international community and humanitarian organizations of the United Nations to carry out their humanitarian duties in Yemen during this critical situation, especially towards mothers and children," he noted.

The Yemen war erupted in late 2014. The Saudi-backed resigned regime of former President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled Sanaa. The Saudi-led military coalition launched a military aggression in early 2015 to forcefully reinstate Hadi's regime.

The more than five years of war and economic blockade have destroyed Yemen's economic, agricultural and health industry, triggering what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis that left nearly 80 percent of the Yemeni population in total reliance on international humanitarian aid for survival.

The UN aid agencies have estimated that more than 20 million Yemeni people are just a step away from starvation.

Last month, the UN aid agencies raised 1.35 billion U.S. dollars from 30 donor countries, just little more than half of the required 2.41 billion dollars in humanitarian aid for Yemen, at a donor conference co-hosted by Saudi Arabia.

The huge drop of humanitarian aid funding has triggered a sharp cut in medicine aid to millions of Yemeni children.

"If we do not receive urgent funding, children will be pushed to the brink of starvation and many will die," said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Representative to Yemen, in a statement.

"The world's attention focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic, I fear the children of Yemen will be all but forgotten," Nyanti noted.

The war is grinding into its sixth year with no end in sight, but towards more destruction.

Also, at the malnutrition ward of Al-Sabeen hospital, Naji Mohammed al-Thobani looks at his young son breathing with difficulty.

"This war, this blockade and the stop of salary payments for years have increased our sufferings...I feel pain when I can't find medicine for my child," said the father.

Source: News Agencies