The Yemen Crisis
Tabatha Criollo, Staff Writer
According to the Mercy Corps, there are 12.2 million children in need of humanitarian assistance, and around 2 million kids under the age of 5 are malnourished. Yemen children are dying every 10 minutes from famine. The Yemen crisis is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, and it is not being talked about enough. Why is that? The on-going war between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis contributes to the situation of Yemen. This violent conflict has caused the Yemen people to be caught in the middle of bombings, hunger, displacement, and highly vulnerable to diseases because medical treatment is limited. If more humanitarian aid is not provided soon the population of the Yemen children and people will only decrease.
It begins with protests starting against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. His corrupt and poor government decisions caused a high amount of unemployment and displacement for the Yemen people. The Houthis are an armed politically motivated group who are against the Saleh government they are supported by Iran and took control of weaker governments in cities in the north. Houthis felt the Yemen government discriminates and by taking violent control they are rising above it to end the continuation of their discrimination. With this much power becoming troubling, Saudi Arabia worked with the Yemen government to prevent this from growing to other cities and used weaponry as an attempt to regain control and get rid of Houthi territory. The weaponry included bombs supplied by the United States under the Obama Administration. These bombs were dropped on to places such as hospitals, schools and even funerals.
In August 2015, Saudi Arabia bombed the Seaport of Al-Hudaydah, a main resource of food supply for the Yemen people, also including humanitarian aid shipments only increasing the amount of starving people to an already struggling country. According to Mercy Corps, Yemen’s experience over the years with this violent conflict has caused Yemen people to be kicked out of their homes, roughly about 17 million don’t have enough food to eat and about 20.5 million people don’t have access to clean water or sanitation services. On top of Yemen’s hunger crisis, the health care system is collapsing the already compromised immune systems of the Yemen people leave them viable to easily preventable diseases like Cholera. Also, with lack of medical attention, and limited testing Yemen is an easy target for Covid-19. If Yemen were to go into lockdown it would be bad for the Houthis. Thus, why the higher authorities are silencing the amount of Covid-19 deaths. It would allow them to continue funding their military in their areas. The Houthis are willing to let people die to maintain control and power in their territories.
Today, the situation worsens the world food program trying to provide aid to the Yemen people are being weaponized by the Houthi. Many of children and people in need of food aid are from Houthi controlled areas. The UNICEF has helped tremendously to help the Yemen people, they have treated more than 343,000 children from severe acute malnutrition, helped 6.9 million people access emergency safe water, reached 2.5 million children under the age of 5 with primary health care, and vaccinated over 11.8 million children under the age of 15 against the measles. But there is still more to be done for the Yemen people, there are ways we as people can help. Donating money to organizations determined to fight the hunger crisis in Yemen, and donating to medical aid organizations, we are helping others provide essential care to those who most need it and saving valuable lives.
Both Saudi Arabia and Houthis are to blame for the worsening situation in Yemen. There is no foreseeable end to this long unnecessary argument. If both parties cannot sit down and come to an agreement it will mean the situation in Yemen will only worsen for the children, men and women who live there. Through donations, spreading the word to network medias and higher up authorities we can make it possible to make change happen and save lives. The Yemen people need help in fighting from a corrupt system trying to silence them.
“Quick Facts: What You Need to Know about the Crisis in Yemen.” Mercy Corps, 13 Aug. 2020, www.mercycorps.org/blog/quick-facts-yemen-crisis.
“Yemen.” UNICEF, www.unicef.org/appeals/yemen.html.