Yemen Hunger Crisis and the Malnutrition Story in the Arab World

In its Beyond the Arab Awakening report IFPRI drew attention to the nature of malnutrition n the Arab world. The problem is not so much lack of calories, but of micro-nutrients like iron and vitamins.

By using stunting of children as an indicator, the report concludes that nearly all Arab countries face some form of food security challenge except for the Gulf countries.

This is in striking contrast to the Global Hunger Index of IFPRI et al. whose categories rather measure the lack of calories. (% of undernourished, % of underweight and child mortality below five).

In terms of lacking calories only Yemen, Sudan, and Mauritania show food insecurity. Some food security challenged countries like Egypt, that have severe malnutrition actually also have a large percentage of obese people (30 percent).

The malnutrition situation in Yemen is extremely alarming and is caused – as usual – by lacking access of poor people to theoretically available food. Children bear the brunt of the malnutrition crisis, which affects the development of their physical and mental abilities irrevocably.


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