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Turkish, international aid critical in Yemen

Turkish, international aid critical in YemenBy Ahmet Gurhan Kartal,

London: Turkish and international aid to Yemen is “very critical” to at least protect the country from famine, a representative from Save the Children said Friday.

The group’s Yemen head, Tamer Kirolos, said he thinks help from all countries should continue to increase as the situation gets worse.

Kirolos told Anadolu Agency 85,000 children is estimated to have died in Yemen since the beginning of the crisis there because of a lack of access to basic needs such as food, health services and medicine.

He said the number of children who have died in bombings and shelling is also in the tens of thousands.

“The most important thing is children are dying and the situation is not getting any better,” he said. “And that is a concern to us because obviously that figure will rise.”

More than 8 million children are without adequate health care in Yemen, according to the Save the Children.

Kirolos said 22 million were in need of aid and 11 million “critically” in need of help last year.

He told a group of reporters in London, what’s happening in Yemen is already “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world but somehow it is getting worse and worse.”

It is estimated the number of people who will be in need of humanitarian aid will rise to 24 million in 2019, according to Kirolos and 12 million be will in need of food delivery daily.

Kirolos hopes Stockholm talks will end in agreement and the situation for Yemeni people can improve.

Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014 when the Shia Houthi group overran much of the country. The crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies accuse the Houthis of acting as a proxy force for Shia Iran.

Turkey is among the biggest donors sending humanitarian aid to the crisis-stricken country.

Tens of thousands of people, including civilians, are believed to have been killed and the UN estimates 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine.

—AA

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