13:06 GMT27 November 2020
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    Many hunger-stricken children in Yemen have no choice other than to join terrorist groups in order to avoid starving to death, Zaid al-Aliya of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, told Sputnik.

    The armed conflict in Yemen, which has been raging since 2014, has ousted the country’s legitimate government and displaced millions of people.

    Zaid al-Aliya spoke about the reasons for the current spread of famine in Arab and African countries mentioned in the recent report released by the World Food Program (WFP).

    “According to UN data, 450,000 children now go hungry in Africa and the Middle East. We have terrible figures about 14 million Yemenis suffering from malnutrition and seven million not knowing when they will be able to eat again,” Zaid al-Aliya told Sputnik Arabic.

    He added that the reasons why so many people suffer from hunger  differ from country to country.

    "In Sudan and Nigeria this is due to droughts and bad climate. In Yemen the reason is the armed conflict that flared up in March 2015.”
    Zaid al-Aliya said that famine exacerbated what was already a very critical situation in this part of the world.

    ​“We know that if a man can’t feed his family he could be tempted to commit a crime. In addition to the spread of diseases, this also forces children to join terrorist organizations,” Zaid al-Aliya warned.

    Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government, led by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Yemen remains disastrous. According to UN data, 8,100 people died in the conflict and 20,000 were injured.

    The number of displaced people reached 2.3 million. Some 21 million are in need of humanitarian aid.

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