A seven-year-old severely malnourished Yemeni girl, whose picture recently further alerted the international community to the disaster-hit nation’s plight, has died amid the ongoing Saudi-led war on the country.
On Saturday, various media reports cited Yemen’s Health Ministry as reporting the death of the girl, named as Amal Hussein.
Amal’s picture turned up in The New York Times last week, showing her lying on a bed at a health center in Aslam in the northwestern Yemen Hajjah Province, 144 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of the capital, Sana’a. Her mother, Mariam Ali, has told the paper that she died on October 26.
The mother said her heart was “broken,” adding, “Amal was always smiling. Now I’m worried for my other children.”
A Saudi-led coalition has been attacking the Arab world’s already most miserable country since March 2015.
More than 15,000 have died since the war started with the aim of returning Yemen’s former Saudi-aligned officials.
The Saudis have been receiving arms and logistical support as well as bombing coordinates and aerial refueling, mostly from the United States, but also from its close European allies, the UK and France.
Only three days before the surfacing of Amal’s picture, the United Nations humanitarian chief said the war had left as many as 8.4 million people in the country in need of urgent food aid.
The United Nations humanitarian chief says the war on Yemen has rendered as many as 8.4 million people in the Arab world’s already most miserable nation needful of urgent food aid.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock wrote in an analysis on Yemen that three million Yemenis were malnourished, including 1.1 million pregnant women, “and more than 400,000 severely acutely malnourished children.”
Humanitarian officials “estimate that 3.5 million to four million more people could become severely food insecure in the months ahead,” the report noted.
“We may now be approaching a tipping point, beyond which it will be impossible to prevent massive loss of life as a result of widespread famine across the country,” Lowcock said. “We are already seeing pockets of famine-like conditions, including cases where people are eating leaves,” he added.