SANAA (Dispatches) – Emaciated child Mohammed Hassan threw a frightened look towards the door after a doctor entered to examine his skinny body in a hospital bed in Sanaa, where five years of Saudi-led war has pushed millions in Yemen to the doorstep of famine.
Mohammed, aged fifteen and weighs only 14kg, lives with his family in a tent in a remote village east of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, near a frontline where fighting between Houthi Ansarullah fighters and the invading Saudi-backed mercenaries has impeded the entry of humanitarian aid for months.
"Mohammad was admitted to Al-Sabeen hospital from As-Sukhnah district in eastern Hudaydah. He suffers acute malnutrition for long time because of the dire circumstances in the embattled areas,” doctor Mousa Debis told Xinhua.
Mohammed said a good man gave his father money that helped transferred him to the hospital.
"My father works as a woodcutter and had no enough money to take me to the hospital for treatment until a good man helped us,” he said.
The father, Hassan, blames the Saudi regime for the worsening condition of his extremely malnourished son, complaining that he is unable to secure daily basic food needed for his nine-member family.
"My children and I are hungry... our daily meal is dry bread and sometimes we do not get it. The war and blockade have devastated our life. We live now in a tent with very little food,” he lamented.
Hassan’s family was one of thousands of Yemeni families which became unable to secure one meal a day or rent a house as food prices are rising and value of the country’s currency is falling because of the war.
The United Nations says about 80 percent of the Yemeni population are in need of life-saving support.
"About 7.4 million people need nutrition assistance, including 2.1 million children under the age of five, and 1.1 million pregnant and breastfeeding women who need acute malnutrition treatment,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said in a statement in January.
audi Arabia and a number of its allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power.
The U.S.-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.