Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis
And if the country's population undergoes a total wipeout, history and the countrymen shall always remember that - Yemen is not starving, it is being starved.
Blood starts drippin’ from the civilian’s wound, Seeps like sewage ‘neath the politician’s room. Deep in the house, white fades to red And the freedom we’re fighting for seems to be dead. – Michael Prochaska.
It is evident that the Yemeni Civil War (2015 and present) has manifested a senseless and paradoxical contradiction in terms of powerful regimes. The war has led to the escalation of a critical diasporic displacement of the people of Yemen, not from the city, but from their own homes. This has led Yemen to be the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, as declared by the United Nations (UN) in 2017. As per the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (UNOCHA) statistics and figures, “An estimated valuate of 80 per cent of the population I.e, 24 million civilians are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. About 20 million need food provisions and out of these, 10 million are ‘one step away from famine’.
Yemen’s powerful tribal system, entrenched separatism in the south, and the involvement of regional powers have highly contributed to the nation’s precariousness.
An estimated – 2 million children are acutely malnourished including almost 3,60,000 children under the age of 5 years, who’re paying a price of the aftermath at the cost of their lives. With the country’s declining medical facilities, almost 20 million lack adequate healthcare facilities and 18 million are suffering from physiological resource scarcity and required sanitation. On November 2018, the charity organisation – Save The Children estimated that about 85000 children, under the age of 5 have died from starvation and about 3.65 million of the population has been displaced. That makes it up to two-thirds of all districts in the country Pre Famine, and one-third facing a consequential plunge of various acute vulnerabilities.
With a pre-existing financial contagion, the country’s economy has been thoroughly affected, leading to disaster capitalism. The country’s civilisation has been stripped off their income, leading to a financial meltdown, worsening the credit crunch and currency liquidity, further adding fire to the baptism of the Humanitarian Crisis.
Historical Background :
The conflict originated in the Arab spring of 2011 when an insurgence forced the country’s long time authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over his property to his deputy – Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. This political negotiation was to bring about stability to Yemen. But the new president struggled to keep up with the country’s critical affairs such as militant attacks, corruption, food security, and the persistent loyalty of the countrymen and army officers to the former president, Saleh
The rebellion began in 2014 when the Houthi-Shia Muslim rebel movement took advantage of President Hadi’s weakness by taking charge of the northern Saada province and neighbouring areas. The Houthis also reigned over the capital Sana’a, forcing Hadi into exile abroad.
Since March 2015, the Saudi Arabian and UAE Coalition along with the Houthi forces have witch-hunted and attacked journalists; remembering Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, editor-in-chief of Arab News Channel, who was assassinated by the Saudi Arabian Government agents. The coalition has led on to a civilian genocide, by conducting an exponentially high amount of disproportionate airstrikes, exchanged functioning ammunitions and artilleries with Saudi Arabia, seized an exclusive amount of property and banned antipersonnel land mines, enslaved and starved children and imposed and launched an immeasurable amount of weapons on its people, causing bloodbaths and war crimes.
The country is on the brink of a total wipeout, it is currently being funded by 190 organisations for assistance.
As documented by Human Rights Watch, the Saudi led coalition has ostensibly launched 90 unlawful airstrikes. And according to the Yemen Data Project, the coalition has conducted about 20,100 airstrikes in Yemen since the war, with an average of 12 attacks per day, deliberately bombed mosques, Houthi detention centres, hospitals, schools etc.
Children and Armed Conflict :
No matter how ugly the war may be, it is always colourful on the maps; and I like to believe it is a euphemistic representation for the children of war.
As per hrw.org,
Since September 2014, all parties to the conflict have used child soldiers under 18, including some under the age of 15, according to a 2019 UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen report in 2019. According to the secretary-general, out of 3,034 children recruited throughout the war in Yemen, 1,940—64 per cent—were recruited by the Houthis.
In July, the UN secretary-general released his annual “list of shame” for violations against children in armed conflict during 2018. The list detailed that 729 children were killed or injured by Saudi-led coalition, 398 children were killed or injured by the Houthis, and the Yemeni government’s forces were responsible for 58 child casualties.
Women and Sexual Violence :
Rewriting History as ‘Her story’ of agony?
According to the September report of the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts, which examined 12 cases of sexual violence against five women, six men and a 17-year-old boy. Victims of Yemen’s sexual harassment are strongly stigmatized, suggesting significant underreporting is probable. Abuse towards women increased upto 63 per cent, as per the United Nations Population Fund.
2016-2020 Yemen Cholera Outbreak –
As per outbreakobservatory.org,
On December 15th, 2019, the EMRO Weekly Epidemiological Monitor reported a cumulative 2,188,503 total cases of cholera and 3,750 deaths in Yemen since 2017, resulting in a 0.17% case fatality rate. While Yemen’s cholera epidemic garnered global interest as it surged past the 2010 Haiti epidemic, the epidemic has continued for more than 3 years, whilst the Yemenis simultaneously dealt with an economic, political and humanitarian crisis, Saudi jets blew up a desalination plant serving the large town of Taiz in January of last year, forcing residents to turn to dirtier water.
Humanitarian Crisis in times of the COVID-19 pandemic:
As per the Congressional Research Service report,
“The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with Houthi obstruction of humanitarian aid, has prevented international aid agencies from formulating the 2020 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan and convening donor conferences to raise funds. Currently, aid organizations are carrying over programs from the 2019 response plan. Since 2015, the United States has provided over $2.4 billion in emergency humanitarian aid for Yemen. Most of these funds are provided through USAID’s Office of Food for Peace to support the World Food Programme in Yemen.”
Whosoever may triumph in these long wars, the nation will, however, never win; because the sentiments of war, does not ever reach the dead. And if the country’s population undergoes a total wipeout, history and the countrymen shall always remember that – Yemen is not starving, it is being starved.