UN food chief recounts suffering of Yemeni children after trip

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“It was just like tickling a ghost.” That is a remark expressed with desperation by Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program David Beasley following his return from a three-day visit to Yemen, where he saw for himself the suffering of Yemeni children.

Speaking to reporters in New York on Friday, the UN food chief described his trip with disturbing revelations.

He recounted his experience of having tried to bring a smile to the face of a young patient in a hospital overwhelmed with malnourished children in Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a.

The UN official also told reporters about a harrowing testimony provided by a doctor at the hospital who said that "every day about 50 children are brought to us," adding, "We have to send 30 home to die. We can only accommodate 20."

The fate of an eight-month-old baby boy was another tale told by the UN food chief. The baby weighed only a third of his normal weight and was brought to the hospital after his mother had driven hundreds of kilometers through military checkpoints.