Chest heaving and eyes fluttering, the 3-year-old boy lay silently on a hospital bed in the highland town of Hajjah, a bag of bones fighting for breath.
His father, Ali al-Hajaji, stood anxiously over him. Mr. Hajaji had already lost one son three weeks earlier to the epidemic of hunger sweeping across Yemen. Now he feared that a second was slipping away.
It wasn’t for a lack of food in the area: The stores outside the hospital gate were filled with goods and the markets were bustling. But Mr. Hajaji couldn’t afford any of it because prices were rising too fast.
“I can barely buy a piece of stale bread,” he said. “That’s why my children are dying before my eyes.”
The devastating war in Yemen has gotten more attention recently as outrage over the killing of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul has turned a spotlight on Saudi actions elsewhere. The harshest criticism of the Saudi-led war has focused on the airstrikes that have killed thousands of civilians at weddings, funerals and on school buses, aided by American-supplied bombs and intelligence.
But aid experts and United Nations officials say a more insidious form of warfare is also being waged in #Yemen, an economic war that is exacting a far greater toll on civilians and now risks tipping the country into a #famine of catastrophic proportions.