Yemen is in an unprecedented famine: hundreds of millions starved for strategic ports

U.n. humanitarian officials sounded the alarm at an October 23 security council meeting that half of yemen’s war-torn population, about 14 million people, could soon be on the brink of famine and need to rely solely on humanitarian aid to survive.

“” there is a looming crisis, a major famine is about to engulf yemen: worse than any famine any expert in the field has seen in his career,” “said mark lowcock, the UN’s humanitarian affairs officer, according to the report.

Given that the world has only declared two famines in nearly two decades, the famine in somalia in 2011 and the partial famine in south Sudan in 2017, he described the scale of the famine yemen would face as “shocking”.

People in war-torn yemen

Reports suggest that Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a proxy war in yemen. In 2015, the saudi-led military coalition intervened in yemen in support of yemeni government forces against the iranian-allied houthi group. Iran denies arming the houthis.

Mr. Lowcock said the United Nations is coordinating the distribution of aid to about 8 million people in yemen, adding that the humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by the economic crisis and the ongoing conflict over the country’s main port of hodeida. Yemen has traditionally relied on imports for 90 percent of its food.

He called for a humanitarian cease-fire, securing supplies of food and supplies across the country, more foreign exchange for yemen’s economy through the central bank, greater humanitarian aid and support, and peace talks between warring parties.

“In addition to these abstract Numbers, millions of people have relied for years on emergency food aid, but they have received enough assistance to survive and not thrive,” said lowcock. The death toll is unbearably high.

“The near-collapse of the immune system of millions of people who have relied for years on aid to survive has increased the likelihood that yemeni citizens, especially children and the elderly, will die from malnutrition, cholera and other diseases,” he said.

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