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Starving families in Yemen eat boiled wild leaves to survive hunger



The crisis threatens the majority of Yemenis to starve because of the Saudi aggression and its Arab alliance with the support of the American administration. Thousands of people have changed their lifestyle and diet by reducing consumption, reducing meals, rearranging spending priorities, and in the west and northwest areas where thousands of the poorest people in the world resorted to fighting hunger by eating tree leafs.

Yemenis have exhausted their means of survival during three and a half years of war. In several areas of Hodeidah governorate on the west coast of Yemen, and in the Aslam district of Hajjah governorate, which has a population of about 106,000, the population uses tree species as a result of lack of income sources and inability to carry the cost of food, where they boil the leaves called ” cissus rotundifolia ” and presented in the form of sour green paste.

According to historians, the Yemenis first resorted to this tree in 1943, when the country had a major famine. People fell on the streets and homes from hunger, and thousands of Yemenis died.

Since 2016, a famine has been ongoing in Yemen which started during the Yemeni Civil War. Over 17 million of Yemen’s population are at risk; over 3.3 million children and pregnant or lactating women suffer from acute malnutrition. Over 100,000 of the affected children are in Al Hudaydah Governorate, with the city of Al Hudaydah worst affected area of the province. According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, the famine in Yemen will soon reach “biblical proportions”. The famine is being compounded by an outbreak of cholera, which is resulting in 5,000 new cases daily. Devastation of Yemeni infrastructure, health, water and sanitation systems and facilities by Saudi-led coalition air strikes led to the spread of cholera. UNICEF says that Saudi-led coalition airstrikes are deliberately targeting water systems in Yemen.

After 5 November 2017, the famine in Yemen worsened because the Saudis, with the help of the United States, tightened their sea, air and land blockade. According to the manager of Al Hudaydah port, which is under the control of the Houthis, medicine and food cannot go to Al-Hudaydah, since Saudi-led airstrikes ruined the port’s industrial cranes in August 2015. On 23 November, the blockade was allegedly partially but not fully lifted, and some humanitarian supplies were allowed into the country. However, the threat of the famine remains severe, and later independent sources denied the easing of blockade.

Since 5 November 2017, the Saudi-led coalition began blocking all fuel shipments to Yemen, causing farmers to abandon modern equipment like tractors and forcing hospitals to function without generators.

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