Yemen: Italy and WHO collaborate to help defeat malnutrition

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Cooperazione

GENEVA, OCTOBER 8 – On October 3rd, WHO and the Italian agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) confirmed their collaboration to fight malnutrition in Yemen. The funding, described as “critical” by the WHO press release, amounts to 2 million euros which will be used to support the nutrition response in Yemen. The partnership between WHO and the Government of Italy started last year and has been growing since them. This contribution marks a further testament of Italy’s commitment to the people of Yemen and the work of WHO.

Italy’s funding will support over 50,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, along with their respective parents who be relieved of great economic and emotional burdens.

Altaf Musani, the WHO Representative in Yemen, expressed gratefulness for this new funding, while nevertheless highlighting that significant work still needs to be done in the fight against malnutrition: “I am grateful for this partnership, and the trust built between our agencies. We are both committed to meeting the needs of over 50 000 children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with medical complications. We have saved the lives of over 8,000 children but the fight is far from over—and together we have made progress.”

Approximately 20 million people in Yemen are food insecure, and an additional quarter of a million are threatened by starvation. Malnutrition is especially dangerous for children, whose immune systems are more easily compromised, making them more exposed to multiple diseases and infections. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is also damaging for parents, who are to face the constant suffering of their children. “Yemen is a country where more than half of the population is unemployed, due to destroyed civil and social infrastructure—so, this support is truly life-saving on all fronts. A family does not have to lose everything to treat their starving child,” explains Altaf Musani. (SB@OnuItalia)