Images and footage of a paralysed and severely malnourished Yemeni boy, Faid Samim, have circulated on social media and highlighted the growing humanitarian cost of the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, now approaching it’s sixth-consecutive year.
Yesterday a report by Reuters revealed how Faid who only weighs 7 kilogrammes (just over 15 pounds) had barely survived the journey he and his family had to take from the northern province of Al-Jawf to the hospital in the capital Sanaa. The route, about 170 kilometres (105 miles) long, includes checkpoints and damaged roads.
“He was almost gone when he arrived but thank God we were able to do what was necessary and he started improving. He is suffering from CP (cerebral palsy) and severe malnutrition,” said Rageh Mohammed, the supervising doctor of the Al-Sabeen hospital’s malnutrition ward.
As Faid’s family is unable to afford his medication or treatment, they rely on donations. Yet he is among many malnourished Yemeni children as a result of the war waged in 2015 which has claimed over 100,000 lives and pushed the country to the brink of famine, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, floods, locusts and significant underfunding of last year’s aid response.
Mohammed says malnutrition cases are on the rise and impoverished parents are forced to rely on donations or international aid to get their children treated. With 80 per cent of the population reliant on aid, the UN has repeatedly described Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.