Malnutrition is a persistent risk to children in Yemen. The country sees seasonal and annual peaks, usually linked to the lean season caused by the disruption of agricultural production in rural areas. This pattern was seen before the escalation of the war in late 2014, but it has worsened due to the ongoing conflict, which has exacerbated food insecurity for vulnerable people.
But there is more to it than food insecurity. Here are five major factors MSF teams across Yemen say are contributing to the rise of malnutrition.
1. Reduced affordability of food
Many families in Yemen are unable to afford enough food, nor nutritional food, as Yemen’s deepening economic crisis has caused prices to soar. Many people do not have access to paid work or have lost their homes due to the 8-year-long war, due to destruction, or displacement. The value of the Yemen Riyal [Yemen’s official currency] is depreciating, and food and transportation costs—including fuel—are rising, further impeding people’s access to sufficient food.