After nearly four years of conflict, more than 20 million Yemenis — roughly two-thirds of the population — don’t have enough to eat. In most cases, it’s not because food is completely unavailable but because it’s unaffordable, priced out of reach by import restrictions, soaring transport costs due to fuel scarcity, a collapsing currency and other man-made supply disruptions. In an effort to strangle the rebels, known as Houthis, the Saudi-led coalition backing the Yemeni government has imposed import restrictions, including on food, medicine and fuel. The resulting spike in prices have helped produce what the United Nations considers the world’s most severe humanitarian catastrophe.
In the worst-hit areas, concentrated in rebel-held territory in northern Yemen where coalition restrictions are most stringent, thousands more children are dying of malnutrition-related illnesses. In the most remote villages families are unable to afford medical care or even transportation to clinics. Often, parents are forced to decide between saving their sick children and feeding their healthy ones.