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UN says over 7mn Yemeni children face ‘serious’ famine threat

Over seven million children in Yemen face a serious threat of famine, according to the UN children’s agency. “Today, 1.8 million children under the age of five are facing acute malnutrition, and 400,000 are affected by severe acute malnutrition,” said Geert Cappelaere, regional director of UNICEF. “More than half” of the 14 million people, at serious risk of famine in the impoverished country, are children, Cappelaere told AFP. “Ending the war is not enough,” he said, referring to a more-than-three-year conflict that pits the government, supported by a Saudi-led military coalition, against Houthi rebels. “What we need is to stop the war and [to create] a government mechanism that puts at the center the people and children.” He welcomed a call by the UN on Wednesday to relaunch peace talks within a month. Cappelaere said efforts to come up with a solution in the next 30 days were “critical” to improving aid distribution and saving lives, adding that over 6,000 children have either been killed or sustained serious injuries since 2015.