Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Yemeni child malnutrition among highest in world

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

(Corrected: My dyslexia or perhaps wishful thinking had the title as lowest when it should have read highest.)

In 2005 when i started paying attention to this stat, it was about 46% of children were physically stunted from malnutrition, and of course those numbers were higher in some areas specifically in Saada. And the sad reality is that now 58% of all Yemeni kids are too small for their age and many die of malnutrition.

Along with physical stunting often comes permanent brain damage, a lower IQ and cognitive faculties. Its important to reverse this trend ASAP through international cooperation and support: feeding centers, plump-n-nut, school lunches etc. The problem always was that the corrupt officials in the Yemeni regime stole the vast majority of international aid. Here in the new improved transparent Yemen, that should be less of a problem in theory. Many of the donors are in fact stepping up to the plate.

UNICEF official voices concern over child malnutrition in Yemen [24/January/2012] Saba: SANAA, Jan. 24 (Saba)- UNICEF Regional Director Maria Calivis concluded on Tuesday a two-day visit to Yemen where she saw first-hand the impact of malnutrition on children’s health.

“This year alone, half a million children in Yemen are likely to die from malnutrition or to suffer lifelong physical and cognitive consequences resulting from malnutrition if we don’t take action. Malnutrition is preventable. And, therefore, inaction is unconscionable,” Calivis said.

“Conflict, poverty and drought, compounded by the unrest of the previous year, the high food and fuel prices, and the breakdown of social services, are putting children’s health at great risks and threatening their very survival.”

With 58 per cent of children stunted, Yemen has the second highest rate of chronic malnutrition among children in the world after Afghanistan. Acute malnutrition affects as many as 30 per cent of children in some parts of the country, nearing the levels observed in south Somalia, and twice as high as the internationally recognized emergency threshold. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda blocks food to starving Yemeni children

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Children, Refugees, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:48 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Well over 100,000 residents of Zinzibar fled their homes (which were then thoroughly looted by al Qaeda which transported the bounty back to Marib) when al Qaeda occupied the city and others. The areas are still under occupation and only by surrendering their civil and political rights are residents allowed to return. The families are still living in about 60 schools in Aden, causing the city’s children to miss a year of school. The US-allied Yemeni regime is thought to have green lighted the al Qaeda expansion into Abyan, Shabwa and recently al Baydah order to create chaos and delay the political transition.

Yemen Post Yemeni children direly suffer due to the current political conditions and insecurity, particularly in South Yemen, said Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director of he UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (Read on …)

Half million IDPs in Yemen; 1/3 kids malnourished, health services nearly non-existant

Filed under: Abyan, Children, Donors, UN, Economic, Refugees, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

IDP’s in Yemen exceed a half million: 300K Saada, 100K Abyan, 200K (at least) Somalis; one doctor per 100K in some areas, one third of children malnourished, education on hold, humanitarian access denied and the whole UN relief project is underfunded by 40%:

Raxanreeb: U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said millions of people in Yemen face “a daily struggle for survival” due to conflict, poverty, drought, soaring food prices and collapsing state services. (Read on …)

Child hunger in Yemen spikes to alarming levels

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Post Saleh, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:23 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

It was scary before. As of 2005, half of all kids were physically stunted from chronic hunger.

ADEN, 18 August 2011 (IRIN) – Continuing fighting in various parts of Yemen, which has recently displaced thousands of people especially in Abyan Governorate and the Arhab District of Sana’a, could compromise the nutritional status of those affected, especially children, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns. This, it said, could potentially increase morbidity and mortality rates, especially among children under five.

“Yemen could become the next Somalia as child malnutrition is as big as it is in the Horn of Africa,” said Geert Cappelaere, a UNICEF representative in Yemen. While malnutrition was widespread in Yemen, the condition of many children had been worsened by displacement, he added. (Read on …)

Humanitarian crisis grows in Yemen

Filed under: Donors, UN, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update: bombing today in Jaar and al Habylean.

The Saleh regime’s overt strategy during the Saada War was to block food, diesel, medical supplies and international aid to Yemeni citizens in the war zones as a means of encouraging the population to turn against the rebels. While some believe those tactics are being employed currently, like deliberately cutting the electricity, even before the protests broke out, Yemen was already scheduled to run out of money by June. Many government workers have been unpaid for months, and that has little to do with the protests. However, the protests essentially have shut down businesses across Yemen, providing a further shock to a widely dysfunctional and crumbling economy that had been distorted for decades by grand corruption. More on the economics below the fold.

YOL Gian Carlo Cirri of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) says that “Yemen is undergoing its worst humanitarian crisis ever.” Cirri, who directs WFP’s Yemen mission, says “I cannot recall a time when hardship has been greater in recent Yemeni history.”

Food prices are skyrocketing in Yemen. WFP reports there has been “a 39 percent increase in the price of wheat over just five months.” (Read on …)

SEYAJ appeals for urgently needed aid for displaced people from Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Air strike, Counter-terror, Donors, UN, Lahj, Refugees, South Yemen, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:52 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

The humanitarian crisis is deepening and SEYAJ urges relief convoys to the starving people displaced to Aden and Lahj

An appeal call No(2) to save the people in Abyan

Issued by the Emergency Cell in Seyaj
Yemen- Sana’a- June 22nd -2011

The Emergency Cell in Seyaj organization for childhood protection calls to declare Abyan governorate as a disastrous area by all the standards.

Seyaj directs its second humanitarian appeal to all the Yemeni people to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to the victims in Abyan of the dirty security political game that displaced , killed and violated the lives, humanity and dignity of at least more than forty thousand families.

Moreover, Seyaj calls the Arabic, Islamic and international associations and humanitarian relief organizations to send urgent humanitarian relief convoys to Abyan victims in Aden and Lahj governorates.

Seyaj also calls the acting president to take concrete actions to save the lives of his people and clan in Abyan.
Seyaj confirms that the areas of war against Al-Qaeda as called are free of country’s institutions that are capable of performing its duty to displaced people in Abyan, Aden and Lahj ,as the first responsibility lies on the Yemeni people in all its political& social activities, humanitarian organizations, religious men , youth , politicians and others of the society components. (Read on …)

Friday Massacre in Sanaa, updates, links: Saleh declares state of emergency

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Sana'a, Yemen, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:22 am on Friday, March 18, 2011

52 dead and over 250 injured and its the predictable spin Saleh:

SABA: In the news conference, Interior Minister Mutahar al Masri highlighted the circumstances of the incidents saying that preliminary information had revealed that the sit-inners outside Sana’a University have been attempting to break in houses nearby the university forcing the owners to form popular committees to protect their properties and homes.

“After the Friday inciting sermon outside the university, the sit-inners headed to the inhabited areas near the university destroying the barriers built by the people to prevent the sit-inners from pitching more tents and violent clashes took place then,” said al Masri.

The idiot announced a ban on carrying weapons, forgetting there already is a ban on carrying weapons.

Also killed today, per CPJ. Jamal al-Sharaabi, a photographer for Al-Masdar. Resignations from GPC include Minister of Tourism, Alruhany Member of Shoura Council and former Minister of Agriculture Dr. Foukara resigns.

Amnesty International: “This appears to have been a sniper attack with security forces deliberately shooting to kill protesters from strategic vantage points,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Vids: Thugs on roofs:
better shot of thugs:
unarmed protesters:
the injured and dead, many head shots, graphic:

12:49 pm EST President Obama issued a statement “strongly condemning” the violence in Yemen, urges Saleh to keep his pledge of non-violence toward protesters. At least its prompt and unequivocal regarding the violence, but he doesn’t call for Saleh to go but for everyone to engage in a consultation, but how do you negotiate with a murderer and a liar? (Read on …)

Yemen: 2nd highest rate of child stunting globally

Filed under: Aden, Children, Donors, UN, Ibb, Rayma, Sana'a, USA, Women's Issues, al-Bayda, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:17 pm on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

These figures are up slightly since 2005. The good news is that one million poor Yemeni women and children who never had access to health services in their lives will now receive some support from the international community. Less than half of Yemenis have access to medical services. Clean water, sanitation, electricity, and other basic services are similarly lacking. This World Bank press release contains the appalling medical current stats. Update: Neonatal tetanus kills 30,000 new born Yemeni babies a year. Pampers SA is chipping in for some vaccines, but over three million doses are needed. (Read on …)

Saleh tries to buy off, pre-empt protests

Filed under: govt budget, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:01 am on Monday, January 31, 2011

The desperate scrambling of a desperate man. Tactics that worked before won’t again:

Saleh directs Govt to expand social security network [31/1/2011

SANA’A, Jan.31(Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh directed the government on Monday to expand the network of social security by adopting 0.5 million cases of families in need in light of the results of the field survey carried out by the concerned body. (Read on …)

Is a general amnesty what Yemen needs? Updated

Filed under: Janes Articles, Presidency, Reform, political violence, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:31 pm on Thursday, December 9, 2010

International lawyer Adel Al Dhahab diagnosed the central obstacle to reform in Yemen: so many are guilty of serious legal infractions. There is no latitude for reform when the establishment of the rule of law would penalize those who are required to implement it. The structural component that has been missing from all proposed solutions to Yemen’s crises is a general amnesty.

Mr. Al Dhahab is a Yemeni practicing law in Canada with vast experience in civil activism, international law, the intricacies of Yemen’s political affairs and the social and tribal dynamics in Yemen.

Al Dhahab explained in a recent paper, The Missing Step, “What Yemen needs is an amnesty that will pardon all offenders across the board, whether political crime or corruption or tribal offenses. It requires selecting a cut-off date where selected crimes that occurred prior are nullified and crimes that happen after are prosecuted. “

Amnesty is a mechanism endorsed by the UN in exceptional circumstances. It was implemented in Algeria in 2006 and Iraq in February 2008. The concept of amnesty also has a strong basis in Islamic law, a prerequisite in the conservative country. (Read on …)

Farms abandoned in Yemen amid increasing hunger

Filed under: Agriculture, Demographics, Enviornmental, Qat, Water, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:20 pm on Saturday, December 4, 2010

One important issue that is not well understood regarding southern Yemen is the difference between loosely organized clans and cohesive tribes, a factor of rainfall levels. This article however discusses urban migration resulting from water shortages and the resulting impact on agricultural output.

Reuters: Farmers, 70 percent of the population, can no longer subsist on their own crops. Youths are flocking from the countryside to the cities in search of jobs to provide for their families. (Read on …)

Half of children under five in western Sa’ada have acute malnutrition

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Sa'ada, Saada War, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:29 am on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SABA: Nearly half of the 26,246 children aged 6-59 months screened in five western districts of Saada in July 2010 were found to be suffering from global acute malnutrition; in one area, the proportion was as high as three out of four children. Overall, 17 per cent of the children screened suffer from severe acute malnutrition and 28 per cent from moderate acute malnutrition.

“Malnutrition is the main underlying cause of death for young children in Yemen, and therefore this grim situation could spell disaster for the children of Saada,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “As winter approaches, thousands of children are at serious risk if we are not able to act immediately.” (Read on …)

Attack on Tawwakol Karaman, head of WJWC, arrests and beatings of displaced and activists

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Media, Sana'a, Yemen, Yemen-Journalists, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:53 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010

The security forces attacked the weekly Tuesday demonstration in “Freedom Square” held to highlight the plight of the al Jasheen, repression of journalists and the withholding of newspaper licenses to independents. Tawakkol Karaman, head of Woman Journalists Without Chains, was arrested and held for hours. Many others were injured and hospitalized from among both the activists and the displaced al Jasheen villagers. It appears 35 were arrested as well.

Statement of condemnation to not detain the long head of the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains, and the attack on Atidip Director of the Organization and human rights activists and itinerant Aldjaashen a sit-in Tuesday

Condemned the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains of what has happened president of the organization entrusted Salam Kerman, as well as the Executive Director of the Organization Bushra Ababi and dozens of activists and human rights defenders and itinerant Aldjaashen of a barbaric attack by the security of the capital during their participation in the sit-in and march in solidarity with itinerant Aldjaashen on Tuesday, 15/10 / 2010, where long-abuse protesters beating and firing live bullets were assaulted, trust in Kerman, president of the organization and then arrested in the Department of fodder for 3 hours, and the injury of the Executive Director of the Organization of press and human rights activist Bushra Ababi during photographed picketing a shot for rubber led to the burning of her clothes, her burns in the back and her husband, were transferred down to the Republican Hospital, as well as Matardt has dozens of displaced women and their children and their husbands severely beaten with rifle butts and threatened with death and guide weapons to Rwshn and other means of intimidation, with damage to five of the women Aldjaashen been moved two of them to hospital, a Republican, as well as the arrest of 35 someone from the itinerant Aldjaashen still 13 of them held in five police stations in Sana’a, and still detained until the moment of writing this statement, namely: (Read on …)

Tetanus Vaccinations for Yemeni women

Filed under: Children, Medical, Women's Issues, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:12 am on Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thank God. What happens when a baby gets tetanus, usually through infection of the umbilical cord after birth, is that it withers and dies, slowly and painfully. As I noted in my recent article, one third of under five deaths in Yemen are from vaccine preventable illnesses. (And another significant portion can be traced to dirty water.) The maternal mortality rates may be understated in the following article. Its difficult to say anything about Yemen with clarity, but some estimates go as high as 340 deaths per 10,000 births. With two vaccine doses, the mother is able to provide some immunity for her newborn. Public awareness of the importance of keeping the umbilical cord clean is another issue. The medical workers still can’t get into Sa’ada though.

Up 1.7 mln women to be immunized against tetanus in Yemen
[09/أكتوبر/2010] SABA

SANA’A, Oct. 09 (Saba)– The Ministry of Public Health and Population in collaboration with UNICEF will launch on Saturday a weeklong Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination (MNTE) Campaign from 9-14 of October 2010. In a press release, UNICEF said that the campaign will target 1.7 million women of child-bearing age (15-49) in 202 districts in 14 Yemeni provinces. (Read on …)

Yemen hikes oil prices

Filed under: Oil, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:01 am on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And I don’t even think they are reducing the subsidies. In either event, the economic problem is 92% corruption. Yemen Post

For the third time in 2010, the government has increased the prices of oil derivatives and the increase this time was by 11 per cent. (Read on …)

Political Cartoonist Kamal Sharef Forcibly Disappeared

Filed under: Judicial, Media, Sana'a, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:46 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

At the same time journalist for the state propaganda agency SABA and “al Qaeda expert” Abdulelah Haider Shaer was arrested, political cartoonist Kamal Sharef’s house was raided and he was dragged off to an unknown location and is currently held incommunicado. Topics covered by Sharef include womens’ rights, corruption, bigotry,and child brides and other progressive commentary on social issues.

News Yemen: Security authorities arrested on Monday cartoonist Kamal honor of his home in the capital Sana’a, and confiscated his personal belongings including a laptop computer ..
وقال شقيق شرف لـ(نيوزيمن) أن مسلحين بلباس مدني وعسكري قاموا وقت الإفطار باقتحام منزلهم واعتقال شقيقه، وآخرين قاموا بمحاصرة منزلهم ، ومن ثم قاموا بتكتيف شقيقه ، اقتادوه إلى جهة مجهولة، بناءً على مذكرة حد قولهم باعتقاله. The brother’s honor (NewsYemen) Gunmen in civilian clothing and military as they break into their home breakfast and the arrest of his brother, and others who surrounded their house, and then they Petktev his brother, took him to an unknown destination, according to a warrant for his arrest they said. (Read on …)

Saada Refugees Begging for Food During Ramadan

Filed under: Saada War, Tribes, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 1:05 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

They were hoping for some dates and sweets but there’s no food deliveries since June due to various conflicts and road closures. The widows and children are begging for food.

AMRAN, 17 August 2010 (IRIN) – Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the northern Yemeni governorate of Amran, including 1,800 in the governorate’s only IDP camp, Khaiwan, have been hit by food aid delivery delays, according to aid workers. (Read on …)

Nearly Half of Yemen’s Children Working (5 Million)

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Employment, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 9:09 pm on Monday, August 16, 2010

Really tragic numbers here.

Daily Times: A study carried out in 2010 by the US-based aid group CHF International revealed that out of Yemen’s 11 million children, five million are currently employed. Three-fifths of those do not receive an education while the remaining two million both study and work at the same time.
CHF said that 40 percent of Yemeni children are drawn into the labour market between the ages of seven and 13. (Read on …)

Protests and Two Explosions in Taiz

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Taiz, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 12:56 pm on Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taiz the sleeping giant… What is it with the stun grenades lately? Somebody from one of the CT units sold a crate onto the black market?

Yemen Post: Several technicians were injured when an adaptor exploded due to a technical fault during its maintenance in Taiz Province…On the other hand, an explosion was heard at the market in the area, with reports saying it was a sound grenade that hurt some people. (Read on …)

70% of Salt in Yemen not Iodized

Filed under: Medical, Ministries, non-oil resources, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 4:20 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The issue of non-iodized salt has come up before and its a change that could positively impact the nation.

Yemen Post: 70 per cent of salt at the Yemeni markets is non-iodized, a study by the UNICEF Nutrition Program has said. (Read on …)

Yemen to End Automatic Refugee Status for Somalis

Filed under: Diplomacy, Refugees, Somalia, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 3:59 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yemen is the only nation that signed onto the UN convention granting refugees status to those fleeing war. Since then the lack of international support, and corruption and inefficiency within the UN offices, meant that Somalis in Yemen are trapped in a life of poverty and hunger with few options but to illegally migrate to Saudi Arabia and beyond. The refugees strain the government’s meager resources and many have no access to education, medical services and jobs, but then neither do many Yemenis.

IRIN: SANAA, 9 August 2010 (IRIN) – Straining to cope with the number of Somalis arriving by boat, Yemen is seeking to end the prima facie refugee status (automatic asylum) it has been giving them for the past 20 years. The government says some are economic migrants and should not be granted automatic refugee status, while others are militants seeking to join al-Qaeda groups to destabilize the country. (Read on …)

Falling Yemeni Riyal at Lowest Rate in History

Filed under: Economic, banking, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:05 am on Monday, August 2, 2010

CBY already injected 20% of its reserves as purchasing power shrinks amid continued public insecurity. A Yemeni economist earlier postulated that excessive money laundering has had a negative impact on the value of the riyal.

Yemen Observer Yemeni riyal fell further against the US dollar as the central bank pumped $57 million into the exchange market, the latest of a series of cash injections to support the tumbling currency which hit a record low this week. (Read on …)

Yemen in Bottom Ten of World’s Most Hungry Countries: Institute of Food Research

Filed under: Agriculture, Demographics, Qat, Water, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 5:18 pm on Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yemen Post

Water scarcity, population growth and internal conflicts are major reasons for food insecurity in Yemen, a recent report has said, warning if immediate action is not taken, food security will remain at extremely low levels until 2010 and the country will be vulnerable for external shocks and disasters.
The report issued by the Institute of Food Research (IFR) noted that food insecurity is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. (Read on …)

3 Million Yemenis Scheduled to Starve in July

Filed under: Children, Donors, UN, Medical, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 7:42 pm on Thursday, April 8, 2010

The second most malnourished child population in the world is going to lose aid from the World Food Program unless donors step up to the plate.

YEMEN: Food crunch warning for July

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) Date: 07 Apr 2010

Aid organizations are warning of a food crisis in Yemen unless international food aid funding is dramatically increased before June 2010.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has only received a quarter of its annual budget for 2010 (US$25.6 million out of $103.2 million), and will run out of food for 3.2 million people by the end of June. (Read on …)

WFP Unable to Feed Millions of Children and Mothers Due to Lack of Funding, Access

Filed under: Children, Demographics, Donors, UN, Women's Issues, Yemen, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Sunday, November 22, 2009

WFP hunger hotspots: Yemen – 20 Nov 2009
Source: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
20 Nov 2009

Lack of funding has kept the CP on hold since June; under the HFP EMOP, 40 percent of mothers and children will not receive nutrition assistance for six of the 12 planned months. Overall, limited and late funding will leave 1.4 of nearly 1.7 million beneficiaries of the CP without assistance in November.

Following a three-week blockade of supply routes to Sa’ada town in October, WFP has been able to re-supply. Planned distribution to 55,500 IDPs in the town and camps is expected to begin 17 November. (Read on …)

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