85,000 children may have died from starvation in Yemen: report

85,000 children under the age of five may have died from starvation and related illnesses since the beginning of the civil war in Yemen in 2015, according to a report from an international aid group Wednesday.

Save the Children made the estimate based on mortality rates for untreated, severe acute malnutrition and United Nations data that 1.3 million children have suffered from the condition.

According to Save the Children, the 14 million people at risk of famine in Yemen has "increased dramatically since the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition imposed a month-long blockade of Yemen just over a year ago."

“We are horrified that some 85,000 children in Yemen may have died because of extreme hunger since the war began. For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death and it’s entirely preventable,” Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s country director in Yemen, said in a statement.


They said commercial imports through the rebel-held port Hodeidah have fallen by more than 55,000 metric tons a month, which would be enough to meet the needs of 4.4 million people.

"Any further decline in imports could likely lead directly to famine," Save the Children warned.

The war in Yemen has come under increased scrutiny in the U.S. recently.

The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul has led many lawmakers to demand the U.S. stop backing the Saudi-lead coalition's war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The U.S. decided to stop its most visible sign of support for the conflict, mid-air refueling, and called for a ceasefire earlier this month.

The U.N. plans to hold peace talks in Sweden between the parties by the end of the year.