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  • A malnourished child lies on the bed as he receives medical treatment at an anti-malnutrition ward in Al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, Jan. 6, 2020.

    A malnourished child lies on the bed as he receives medical treatment at an anti-malnutrition ward in Al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, Jan. 6, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 11 January 2020
Opinion

The civil war pushes Yemen to the brink of famine, with more than 12 million Yemeni children in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

 For little Radiah Nasser, there has been no New Year celebration. The 11-year-old girl was lying unconscious on a bed in the malnutrition ward of the Al-Sabeen hospital, in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

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"Radiah Nasser, suffering from a severe malnutrition and brain atrophy, was admitted to the hospital on the eve of the New Year," doctor Alaa El-Din Ghalib told Xinhua.

The civil war pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, with more than 12 million Yemeni children in dire need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations.

Children, who lost their relatives in the ongoing war, enjoy an open day for war-affected children at an amusement park in Sanaa, Yemen, on Jan. 11,2020.

The Al-Sabeen hospital, a main public hospital specializing in malnutrition treatment, is crowded with patients, mostly children, mainly from remote villages.

Despite the crowds, the place is quiet as many of the malnourished children are too weak to cry.

Radiah, from a village of al-Malajim district in Bayda province, has been suffering from malnutrition since the war erupted in 2015.

"We had no money until some good people noticed our tragedy and helped us to transport Radiah to the hospital," the mother said timidly.

Children, who lost their relatives in the ongoing war, wait for their turns in an open day for war-affected children at an amusement park in Sanaa, Yemen, on Jan. 11, 2020.

The 11-year-old weighs only 11kg. Her doctors said there were not enough medicine for malnutrition treatment.

"The hospital suffers from severe shortage in medical supplies and medicines to cope with the increasing malnutrition cases," Ghalib complained.

Children, who lost their relatives in the ongoing war, enjoy an open day for war-affected children at an amusement park in Sanaa, Yemen, on Jan. 11, 2020.

The war which has been lasting for more than four years between the Iran-allied Houthi rebels and the exiled government backed by the Saudi-led coalition has cut wages, reduced imports and destroyed Yemen's health care system.

The World Food Programme warned that the current level of hunger in Yemen is unprecedented and is causing severe hardship for millions of people. It warned that about 20 million Yemenis are at the brink of starvation.

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