Yemen is facing the worst famine we have seen in decades

The United Nations has just warned the rest of the world that Yemen is in imminent danger of a catastrophic famine. If we don’t act soon, millions of lives will be lost.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned the rest of the world of the incoming crisis and called for immediate action from international actors to help the people of Yemen.

How did the situation in Yemen get so bad?

The conflict in Yemen has its roots in the Arab Spring uprising of 2011 that forced the country’s authoritarian president Ali Abdullah Saleh out of the presidential seat to be replaced by his deputy Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The uprising and the following changes were supposed to bring stability into the country that had long been struggling with corruption, poverty and food insecurity; however, the following years only made the situation in Yemen worse.

The conflict started in 2014 when the Houthi rebel movement took control over the Saada province and surrounding areas. Six years into the civil war, the situation in Yemen is not letting up. According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, more than 100.000 people have been killed, over 12.000 of them civilians.

An estimated 85.000 more people have died as a cause of war-induced famine, and the UN predicts it’s going to get worse.

The UN declared the crisis in Yemen the worst humanitarian crisis in the world for the past two years with 80 percent of the population in need of external aid to survive.

What’s causing a famine in Yemen? Why is it getting worse?

The people of Yemen are starving, but it’s not because there is a lack of food, it’s because they can’t afford it. People express that there is food to be had in shops and markets across the country, but people can’t buy it due to the ever-increasing prices and incredibly high unemployment rates in the country.

Because of the civil war, food prices have steadily been increasing and the rate of employment decreasing. Even people who are employed are having difficulty being paid.

People of Yemen have been relying on international aid for food more and more since the beginning of the conflict. However, 2020 has been a bad year for funding and shortages have caused organisations like the World Food Programme to reduce food distributions.

Funding shortages have become a major crisis for relief efforts in Yemen. UN Aid Chief Mark Lowcock expressed that the organisation received less than half of it’s required funding for humanitarian aid in Yemen this year. The consequences of under-funding are going to be “immediate, enormous and devastating”, according to Lise Grande, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. Alongside reduced food distributions, some health services have also been cut down.

On top of the funding decrease, ongoing conflict and obstruction to humanitarian aid by the conflicting sides are pushing this crisis towards an unprecedented catastrophe.

How can you help?

Currently, it seems like there is no end in sight to the war in Yemen which means there is no end in sight to the help that is needed for the people of Yemen. You can support them by donating to our Crisis Relief United Action for Yemen below. The United Action consists of multiple Kinder-vetted organisations, all tackling the crisis from different angles. Your donation will be divided amongst them and support a holistic solution rather than a singular organisation.

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