In This Edition
Analysis of the Current Malnutrition Situation in Yemen
Dimensions and Social Factors Contributing to Malnutrition
Dimensions and Economic Factors Contributing to Malnutrition
Impacts of malnutrition on social and economic development in Yemen (economic cost)
Social Policies and by Other Sectors to Address Malnutrition
Recommendations and Priority Actions
Malnutrition is one of the world’s most serious but leased-addressed development challenges. Its human and economic costs are enormous, falling hardest on the poor, women, and children.
By March 2022, Yemen had nearly 2.2 million children who suffer from one form of acute malnutrition1. To put things in perspective, a SAM child is ten times more at risk of death if not treated on time than a healthy child his or her age.
This means the child will be less likely to grow to his/her fullest potential, let alone other development related impediments, including disruption to their cognitive skills and less future economic opportunities. Malnutrition does also undermines the ability by the country to develop human capital. Given the conditions unfolding in Yemen, malnutrition could have irreparable damages to the child's cognitive skills and development, and other consequences on education, income and productivity that extend through adulthood. The economic cost of undernutrition, in terms of national losses in productivity and economic growth are huge, given the additional burdens of malnutrition due to the current conditions in Yemen and their ensuing repercussions, including higher number of poor people who suffer from extreme poverty, which increases in their vulnerability in the face of health and economic shocks. Therefore, malnutrition is one of the key and difficult impediments to development in Yemen, and without concerted actions at the national and international levels, the issue would remain largely unaddressed.
Despite this growing concern, it is encouraging that these losses can largely be avoided if sufficient investments are made in proven interventions, especially those focusing on achieving optimal nutrition in the first crucial 1,000 since conception till the child reaches 2 years. Reducing malnutrition in Yemen is critical to develop the human capital being a major driver of sustainable growth and poverty reduction, and can have a significant impact on the HDI Index. To achieve an optimal level of nutrition, the poor people in Yemen shall have access to the resources and services they need.