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UNICEF Official Calls Yemen A Living Hell For Children

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UN declares Yemen children living in Hell

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is worsening, with millions of children at risk of starvation and fighting intensifying despite international pressure for a cease-fire in the country's civil war, according to a senior United Nations official who last week visited the rebel-held port of Hodeidah.

Geert Cappelaere, the regional director for UNICEF, says Yemen is a "living hell" for children. In addition to creating shortages of food and clean water, fighting has caused the breakdown of Yemen's medical system, including immunizations, leading to fatal outbreaks of measles and diphtheria.

"The reason is the economic crisis, the devaluation of the rial and the fact that most commodities are not any more affordable for the most vulnerable people," Cappelaere told NPR on Sunday in Amman, Jordan. The U.N. has estimated that up to 14 million Yemenis — roughly half the country's population — will suffer severe food shortages in the next few months.

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