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Yemen's civil war turned its rural population malnourished

Aslam (Yemen): In a hidden pocket of northern Yemen, families with starving children have nothing to eat but leaves of a local vine, boiled into a sour, acidic green paste.

Lives become miserable after Yemen civil war

The only reason for this is because the international food aid isn't reaching the families that need it most, even as parents and children waste away.
Aslam Health Centre is the only point functioning in the Aslam district which is continuously flooded with dozens of children in the worst, final stages of malnutrition.

Several were excruciatingly thin, with protruding ribs and knobby knees with staff weighing them in plastic washtub dangling from a scale.

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The health centre has no pediatricians, no electricity, no oxygen cylinders. At night, medics use flash lights because there is no fuel for generators which makes the condition even worse.

At least 20 children are known to have died of starvation already this year, more than three years into the country's ruinous civil war, in the province that includes the district. The real number is likely far higher, since few families report their children's deaths when they die at home, officials say.

The worsening hunger in Aslam, in northern Yemen, is a sign of the holes in an international aid system that is already overwhelmed but is the only thing standing between the country's people and massive death from starvation amid the country's three-year civil war.

A top relief officer said that an investigation was launched with local organisations into why food was not reaching all those in need there.

As a response in the meantime, the official said relief agencies are sending over 10,000 food baskets to the district, increasing mobile teams from three to four and providing transportation for parents and children to health facilities, as well as other assistance.

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Yemen's civil war has wrecked the impoverished country's already fragile ability to feed its population.

The war pits Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who hold the north, against a Saudi-led coalition, armed and backed by the United States.

The coalition has sought to bomb the rebels into submission with an air campaign in support of Yemeni government forces.

The number of people nationwide who would starve if they didn't receive aid grew by a quarter over the past year, now standing at 8.4 million of Yemen's 29 million people, according to UN figures.

That number is likely to soon jump by another 3.5 million because the currency is losing value, leaving growing numbers of people unable to afford food, the UN warned this month.

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