A Scottish charity has announced it will help thousands of children in Yemen amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country.
Mary’s Meals provides school meals for children living in some of the poorest countries in the world, including Malawi, Haiti, Ethiopia, Syria and South Sudan.
By providing daily meals, children are encouraged to attend school and gain an education.
On Thursday, the Argyll-based charity announced it would be expanding to help children in Yemen.
Ongoing conflict in the country has affected the economy, causing high levels of poverty and food insecurity, with 70% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance.
Since the conflict began in 2015, the number of school-aged children not in education has doubled and many have been forced to work in a bid to survive.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals, said: “Mary’s Meals always has a desire to support those in the greatest need.
“Given that Yemen can be described as the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, and so many children are suffering, we are delighted to begin serving our daily school meals there – meeting the immediate need of the hungry child and, crucially, at the same time, enabling their education.”
Mary’s Meals will provide substantial and nutritious pitta bread sandwiches filled with various ingredients to suit local tastes alongside fruits and vegetables to more than 4000 children at four schools in Yemen.
The charity is working in partnership with established international NGO, Yemen Aid, to reach children living in the Al Mansoora district of Aden.
The district is particularly vulnerable as it is home to a large number of internally displaced people and other marginalised populations, who all experience high levels of hunger.
Mary’s Meals began in 2002 by feeding 200 children in Malawi and has now reaches more than two million children every school day in 20 countries around the world.
The charity is currently running match-funding campaign Double The Love, which sees donations made to Mary’s Meals until January 31 doubled by a group of generous supporters, with up to £1.6m available.
Magnus added: “Feeding children in Yemen is an important moment in our mission but we are always thinking of the next child waiting for our nutritious meals.
“That’s why I’m so pleased that donations made to Mary’s Meals this winter are being doubled by a group of generous supporters – meaning we can reach even more hungry children around the world with a life-changing meal at school.”