Aid group says Yemeni children still dying of hunger

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A truce that went into effect in April in war-torn Yemen has not improved humanitarian conditions in the country and the Russia-Ukraine war is causing children to die of hunger, the regional director of a prominent aid group said Friday.

In an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut a week after visiting Yemen, Hossam Elsharkawi said the war in Ukraine has increased fuel, wheat and food prices.

“Price hikes are unbearable. The situation in Yemen was already catastrophic before Ukraine, now it’s a hundred times worse,” said Elsharkawi, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “Children are dying in Yemen. They’re not just suffering, they’re dying from hunger.”

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He added that the “worse than catastrophic” conditions in Yemen requires his organization to increase “efforts in our humanitarian work.”

The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

A two-month truce between the internationally recognized government and the Iran-backed Houthis that took effect April 2 was extended for an additional two months on June 2.

“Unfortunately, the situation in Yemen has not improved since the truce,” said Elsharkawi.

Elsharkawi said polluted water is a key problem in recent weeks.

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, told the council earlier this week that he plans to explore the possibility of a longer truce with the country’s warring parties. He said an extension could be a good step in moving toward a ceasefire in the country’s eight-year civil war.

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