Inequalities among malnourished children in India | Emerald Insight
Of nearly two million malnourished children in Yemen, , are considered critically ill — a figure projected to rise by one quarter in the coming months. Mekkia Mahdi at the health clinic in Aslam, an impoverished northwestern town that has been swamped with refugees fleeing the fighting in Hudaydah, an embattled port city 90 miles to the south.
Flitting between the beds at her spartan clinic, she cajoled mothers, dispensed orders to medics and spoon-fed milk to sickly infants. For some it was too late: the night before, an month old boy had died. He weighed five and a half pounds. Looking around her, Dr.
She tugged on the flaccid skin of a drowsy 7-year-old girl with stick-like arms. Only bones. But Saudi officials have defended their actions, citing rockets fired across their border by the Houthis, an armed group professing Zaidi Islam, an offshoot of Shiism, that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy, views as a proxy for its regional rival, Iran. And the offensive to capture Hudaydah, which started in June, has endangered the main lifeline for imports to northern Yemen, displaced , people and edged many more closer to starvation.
A famine here, Mr. Hajaji said. The burns were a mark of the rudimentary nature of life in Juberia, a cluster of mud-walled houses perched on a rocky ridge. To reach it, you cross a landscape of sandy pastures, camels and beehives, strewn with giant, rust-colored boulders, where women in black cloaks and yellow straw boaters toil in the fields. In the past, the men of the village worked as migrant laborers in Saudi Arabia, whose border is 80 miles away. They were often treated with disdain by their wealthy Saudi employers but they earned a wage.
Hajaji worked on a suburban construction site in Mecca, the holy city visited by millions of Muslim pilgrims every year. Last year a young woman died of cholera, part of an epidemic that infected 1. In April, a coalition airstrike hit a wedding party in the district, killing 33 people, including the bride.
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A local boy who went to fight for the Houthis was killed in an airstrike. But for Mr. Hajaji, who had five sons under age 7, the deadliest blow was economic. He watched in dismay as the riyal lost half its value in the past year, causing prices to soar.
The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s War in Yemen
Suddenly, groceries cost twice as much as they had before the war. Other villagers sold their assets, such as camels or land, to get money for food. Hajaji, whose family lived in a one-room, mud-walled hut, had nothing to sell. At first he relied on the generosity of neighbors. Then he pared back the family diet, until it consisted only of bread, tea and halas, a vine leaf that had always been a source of food but now occupied a central place in every meal.
Soon his first son to fall ill, Shaadi, was vomiting and had diarrhea, classic symptoms of malnutrition. Hajaji wanted to take the ailing 4-year-old to the hospital, but that was out of the question: fuel prices had risen by 50 percent over the previous year. One morning in late September, Mr. Hajaji walked into his house to find Shaadi silent and immobile, with a yellow tinge to his skin. He kissed his son on the forehead, bundled him up in his arms, and walked along a winding hill path to the village mosque.
That evening, after prayers, the village gathered to bury Shaadi.
Food crisis: causes, consequences and alternatives
His grave, marked by a single broken rock, stood under a grove of Sidr trees that, in better times, were famous for their honey. A few weeks later, when Shaher took ill, Mr. Hajaji was determined to do something. In , the Saudi-backed Yemeni government transferred the operations of the central bank from the Houthi-controlled capital, Sana, to the southern city of Aden.
The bank, whose policies are dictated by Saudi Arabia, a senior Western official said, started printing vast amounts of new money — at least billion riyals, according to one bank official. The new money caused an inflationary spiral that eroded the value of any savings people had. The bank also stopped paying salaries to civil servants in Houthi-controlled areas, where 80 percent of Yemenis live.
With the government as the largest employer, hundreds of thousands of families in the north suddenly had no income. At the Sabeen hospital in Sana, Dr. Her husband, a retired soldier, is no longer getting his pension, and Dr. Rajumi has started to skimp on everyday pleasures, like fruit, meat and taxi rides, to make ends meet.
Economic warfare takes other forms, too. In a recent paper, Martha Mundy, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, analyzed coalition airstrikes in Yemen, finding that their attacks on bridges, factories, fishing boats and even fields suggested that they aimed to destroy food production and distribution in Houthi-controlled areas. In September, the World Health Organization brokered the establishment of a humanitarian air bridge to allow the sickest Yemenis — cancer patients and others with life-threatening conditions — to fly to Egypt.
Among those on the waiting list is Maimoona Naji, a year-old girl with a melon-size tumor on her left leg. At a hostel in Sana, her father, Ali Naji, said they had obtained visas and money to travel to India for emergency treatment. Their hopes soared in September when his daughter was told she would be on the first plane out of Sana once the airlift started.
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But the agreement has stalled, blocked by the Yemeni government, according to the senior Western official. Maimoona and dozens of other patients have been left stranded, the clock ticking on their illnesses.
Naji, shuffling through reams of documents as tears welled up in his eyes. Where is the humanity in that? What did we do to deserve this? Causes and Consequences of Malnutrition in India.
Nutrition Policy for the TwentyFirst Century. What Is Wrong in the Aggregate?
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Government Spending on Nutrition Programs. Building Commitment and Capacity. Strengthening Nutrition Action by the Health Sector. Nutrition Security at the Community and Household Levels. How Well Do They Work? Targeted Food Supplementation. Micronutrient Programs. Food Subsidy Programs. Statistical Appendix.