Fact Check: NO Evidence 5 Million Muslim Children In Yemen Died Due To Hunger, Wars, COVID-19 & Poverty In 2020

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: NO Evidence 5 Million Muslim Children In Yemen Died Due To Hunger, Wars, COVID-19 & Poverty In 2020 False Headline

Did 5 million Muslim children in Yemen die due to hunger, wars, COVID-19 and poverty in 2020? No, that's not true. The crisis in Yemen is undeniable, with millions of children facing starvation and death in the war-torn country, but the 5 million number of deaths for children is not supported by any published reports.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by Love For Islamic on June 19, 2020. The headline said: "5 Million Muslim Children In Yemen Died due to Hunger, Wars, COVID-19 & Poverty in 2020." It opened:

You have gone through many articles in the past two years from 2018-2020, in which most of the articles say that according to save the children foundation 85,000 children in Yemen died starving in the year 2018, while one of those articles published by telegraph UK says that 5 million children in Yemen about to die due to Starvation in 2018 report."

This is what the article looked like at the time of this writing:

Screen Shot 2020-06-22 at 5.13.34 PM.png

The 5 million figure in the headline claim apparently stems from line in the unsigned artilcle in which the unidentified writer says, "I think more than 5 million have died ..." But the article does not substantiate that opinion, which the headline states as fact, nor is in supported by any reputable sources.

This is the full opening paragraph from the article, with the key line highlighted for emphasis:

You have gone through many articles in the past two years from 2018-2020, in which most of the articles say that according to save the children foundation 85,000 children in Yemen died starving in the year 2018, while one of those articles published by telegraph UK says that 5 million children in Yemen about to die due to Starvation in 2018 report. Now we are in 2020, and the situation of wars, civil wars have not been solved and the situation got more worsed since then, if we took that report published by telegraph UK, I think more than 5 million have died so far due to starvation in Yemen in 2020, as the wars are on, COVID-19 is there, no trade and no money, not even single paracetamol is available as a medical aid to those helpless Muslims and their helpless and innocent children."


The article cites a statistic that 85,000 children in Yemen died from starvation in 2018, and it attributes that figure to Save the Children Foundation. The foundation did estimate a massive death toll of 85,000 children, but it was for the three-year period since the war began in 2015 to 2018, not for 2018 alone. Here is what that article said:

An estimated 85,000 children under five may have died from extreme hunger or disease since the war in Yemen escalated, according to new analysis by Save the Children.
Using data compiled by the UN, Save the Children evaluated mortality rates for untreated cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in children under five years. Using a conservative estimate, the humanitarian aid agency discovered that approximately 84,701 children with SAM may have died between April 2015 and October 2018."


The Telegraph published an article in September 2018 with the title "More than five million children in Yemen risk starving to death as food and fuel prices soar."

The Telegraph cited Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International:

"Millions of children don't know when or if their next meal will come. This war risks killing an entire generation of Yemen's children who face multiple threats, from bombs to hunger to preventable diseases like cholera."

There is no denying that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has worsened, and the spread of COVID-19 has only added to the horrors. According to Worldometers.com, 256 people have died in Yemen from COVID-19 in 2020. Save the Children stated in a press release "Over Five Million Yemenis At Risk Of Losing Access To Food And Clean Water As Coronavirus Spreads in Yemen," but the agency did not say that 5 million children have died.

The Human Rights Watch report of "Yemen Events of 2019" states more than 17,500 civilians were killed and injured in the war since 2015. That number with the 85,000 children dead of starvation since the war began and the number of deaths (not just of children, to be noted) from COVID-19 in 2020 do not nearly approach 5 million.

Unicef has published a sobering report about the Yemen crisis, noting:

Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world - and children are being robbed of their futures."

"The largest humanitarian crisis in the world ..." with more than 24 million people -- some 80 percent of the population -- in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children. Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, the country has become a living hell for the country's children.

But there is no evidence that 5 million children have died in Yemen in 2020. The headline is false.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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