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Around 20 million Yemenis food insecure due to ongoing conflict

AFP  |  Dubai 

Around 20 million Yemenis are food insecure, UN agencies said on Saturday, adding the conflict ravaging the impoverished country was the key behind rising levels.

"As many as 20 million Yemenis are in the world's worst humanitarian crisis," a joint statement by the (FAO), the children's fund UNICEF and the World Food Programmed (WFP) said.

"Already 15.9 million people wake up hungry" in Yemen, it said, citing an analysis by the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC), a survey.

According to the IPC -- whose analysis is necessary to decide whether to declare famine in countries -- the 20 million people facing "severe acute food insecurity" represent 67 percent of Yemen's population.

"What the IPC tells us is alarming," said Lise Grande, UN for

said the analysis "is an alarm bell that shows is rising".

"We need a massive increase in and sustained access to all areas in in order to rescue millions of Yemenis. If we don't, we will lose an entire generation of children to hunger," he warned.

The world's worst humanitarian crisis spiralled in after a Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to support the government against Iran-aligned Huthi rebels in March 2015.

It has killed at least 10,000 people, according to the World Organization.

The latest report comes as representatives and a rebel delegation were holding UN-brokered peace talks in

The armed conflict was at the top of a list of the "key drivers of food insecurity", which has been further exacerbated by a protracted economic crisis in the impoverished Arab Peninsula country.

Yemen's finances have been devastated by the conflict, with the reporting the economy has contracted by around 50 percent since 2015.

Unemployment is running at over 30 percent and inflation is projected at around 42 percent, while the majority of state employees are not paid.

A slide in the value of the riyal also has caused in the famine-threatened country to soar.

"A large proportion of the population, even in more stable areas, cannot access because have jumped by 150 per cent compared to pre-crisis levels," the statement said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 08 2018. 21:26 IST
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