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Yemeni families having to make unbearable decision whether to buy food or medicine, DEC chief says

Saida's tiny body was ravaged with starvation Credit: ITV News

Families are having to make the "unbearable" decision between buying medicine or food for their children in Yemen where millions are facing famine, the chief executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) told ITV News.

Yemen's suffering is the largest humanitarian crisis facing the world today with around 19 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed, who is originally from Yemen. has recently returned from a visit to the war-torn country.

He said: "Families are having to choose whether they buy medicine for one child or buy food for their family. Just imagine that as a parent, how difficult would it be to make those choices."

He added: "It's unbearable and heartbreaking to see those families having to make those decisions."

He said: "It was terrible. This is a country that has been suffering from two years of intense civil war and as you've rightly said millions of people are in need of humanitarian assistance."

The war will soon reach its second anniversary. The fighting has already claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The Distasters Emergency Committee (DEC) recently launched a crisis appeal to help those facing famine.

460,000
children are severely acutely malnourished
10m
people are in acute need of aid

He said Yemen is a very dangerous place to work in and journalists have found it very difficult to cover the conflict and it has been forgotten by the world.

Mr Saeed was born in Yemen and still has family in the country and he said his visit was "heartbreaking".

He said: "I was born there and still have family there and travelling round and seeing all the beautiful things about Yemen destroyed and all the wonderful people just trying to make a life, really struggling, and not knowing where their next meal is coming from is heartbreaking."