Yemen: The many faces of hunger — Aisha

A Yemeni mother’s daily struggle to feed her children

Abeer Etefa
World Food Programme Insight

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“Sometimes, I wonder, what am I doing in this hospital? They will treat my 5-year-old son for severe malnutrition and we will leave the hospital. Then, I will return home and have nothing to feed him, so it will be a few weeks and I will return to the hospital. I also have a six-month-old baby that I am nursing but I have not had anything to eat to be able to give him milk. There is no hope. It is a vicious cycle. My husband was in the army, but he did not want to fight in this war, so he quit.”

Aisha, a mother of three in Al Saba’een hospital in Sana’a. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

“Before the war, we were living and able to support our children and even our extended families. Sometimes we would borrow money if things were too tight, but things are different now. We are all in the same boat. Everyone is struggling. No one has enough money for their family to spare some extra to help a relative or a friend with a bag of rice. This war has taken everything: food, money and even kindness between people. Everything has deteriorated. I had to rush with my son to the hospital and left my home without one spoon of rice or wheat for the other children.”

Aisha cradles her son Mohamed on the hospital bed. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

“My son only weighs 9 kilograms at the age of 5. We are fighting too many wars and the most dangerous one for us at this moment is the inflation war. It touches us every single day. The other war has to stop too but I do not feel its threat every day the way I feel the inflation war every morning when I wake up to think what will I feed my family. I started receiving the World Food Programme assistance last month and it helps, but I hope it continues. Our neighborhood was not always accessible.”

The World Food Programme Executive Director, David Beasley, on a recent visit to Sana’a hospital where he met Aisha and her son who suffers from severe iron deficiency, anemia and malnutrition. Photo: WFP/Abeer Etefa

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Abeer Etefa
World Food Programme Insight

#MiddleEast Senior Spokeswoman with the #UN World Food Programme (WFP). Views are my own. RT do not imply endorsements