Girl who became symbol of Yemen humanitarian crisis dies of malnutrition aged 7

Girl who became symbol of Yemen humanitarian crisis dies of malnutrition aged 7
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Srinagar: A seven-year-old girl whose photograph was featured by the New York Times last week has become one of the latest casualties of the devastating Yemen conflict, the Times newspaper reported.

Amal Hussain, who became a symbol of her country’s humanitarian crisis after being photographed by Tyler Hicks, died in a Yemeni refugee camp on Thursday, her family told the Times.

“My heart is broken,” Mariam Ali, the girl’s mother, was quoted as saying. “Amal was always smiling. Now I’m worried for my other children.”

Speaking to The Takeaway radio program earlier this week, Pulitzer Prize-winner Hicks described how photographing Amal was “difficult” and “heartbreaking” but also “important.”

“She really sums up how tragic and how bad the malnutrition and the starvation have really become in Yemen,” the photographer said.

Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, has been embroiled in a devastating power struggle between the Saudi-backed government and the Iran-backed Houthi insurgents for almost four years, with devastating consequences for civilians.

Last week, U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council that the war-torn country is in danger of being engulfed by an “imminent and great big famine” that could affect 14 million people, or around half of the population.

Lowcock said that the looming famine could be “bigger than anything any professional in this field has encountered during their working lives.”

“Lack of food, displacement, poor nutrition, disease outbreaks and eroding healthcare” have also affected 1.1 million malnourished and lactating women, and if the situation continues to deteriorate, up to 2 million mothers may be “increasingly at risk of death,” the U.N. Population Fund reported Thursday.