Yemen Humanitarian Crisis
The Republic of Yemen is a country in Western Asia that lies at the Southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. After Saudi Arabia, it is the second-largest Arab sovereign state in the Peninsula and has a population of 28.5 million. Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, is facing a deadly Civil war for decades. The republic of Yemen faces major problems like unemployment, and water shortages which are the main cause of conflict in Yemen. Yemen also has the lowest HDI among the Arab states because of severe poverty in highlands, semi-desert areas, and fishing villages. Corruption in all sectors, lack of democracy, and no political involvement of common men in decision-making made the situation worse.
In response to such factors as low standards of living, anti-government protests and army rebellions came into existence. At last, Mr.Hadi was appointed as the president but he had to deal with several problems. This included attacks by Jihadis, a separate movement in the south, and the insurgency from security personnel to Saleh. Saleh was unable to tackle Corruption, unemployment, food insecurity, and lack of good governance. The Houthi movement took advantage of the new president’s weakness. They took control of Saada province and neighboring areas.
The Houthi movement wanted to gain control over the country due to which Mr.Hadi was forced to leave. “The Coalition” was formed by a group of several regional countries that were backed by the United States. The group led by Saudi Arabia went to war against the Houthis Or Ansar Allah. Since then, Yemen has been facing acute humanitarian crises. According to the United Nations, if the war continues, the people of Yemen would suffer from the world’s worst famine.
Should The World leave Yemen to die in Humanitarian Crisis?
Out of 28.5 Million About 80% of the population, 24 million need humanitarian assistance and protection on an urgent basis. This deadly crisis has killed over 7700 civilians by March 2020. In a world where households have been hoarding necessities in the Pandemic, civilians of Yemen have been dying due to poor health.
According to Save the Children, 80,000 thousand children having severe acute malnutrition died from 2015 to 2018. Following a ballistic missile attack, Saudi Arabia 2017 tightened its blockade of Yemen. These steps put Yemenis in more trouble as a stoppage of foodstuff, Medicines, and Fuel. This led to a rapid increase in the prices of foodstuffs and fuel which pushed Yemenis into food and health insecurity. The economy of Yemen and the health care system has collapsed. Infectious diseases such as cholera and diphtheria are rampant and widespread in all areas, with a lack of clean treated drinking water and other basic facilities.
There is no better time than this for the international community to prevent deaths in Yemen due to a lack of necessities. Yemen has seen the worst cholera outbreak since 2017 and the danger of the world’s worst famine hangs above the head. There is a dire need to unblock imports, and ensure the distribution of aid including foodstuff, medicines, and other stuff to prevent the worst outcomes.
Is the world really abandoning Yemen?
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been fighting to regain control of the areas back from a Houthi-led insurgency. In July 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a key ally of Saudi Arabia in the war, announced a withdrawal of its forces from Yemen. Saudi Arabia announced a unilateral ceasefire in April this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2019 at a conference held by the UN a $ 4.2 Bn in aid pledges for Yemen assistance was announced. The announcers have given very little amount in this regard, unfortunately. The health-care system of the country collapses as millions of children face starvation. Pandemic coronavirus on the peak and cholera outbreaks, and warns that UN-backed aid programs may close in weeks due to a shortage in funding.
International pledges at a recent aid conference fell far behind what is immediately needed. The Global Coronavirus outbreak distracted the prominent members of the Yemen war. According to the United Nations, the deaths in Yemen this year from coronavirus would be more than calculated. If the healthcare system is not improved, the number of deaths due to coronavirus would increase the total number of deaths in the last five years.
Considering the current situation, saying that Yemenis are also abandoning Yemen would not be wrong. The priority of most the educated civilians is to flee the country. The only people left in Yemen are those who cannot afford to escape the country. This is the main reason for the drowning economy of Yemen.
According to many, the dispute in Yemen is also because both Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter rivals. The war in Yemen is the result of the power struggle of both countries. The only concern of the United States is to fight against Houthi. This is why the United Nations is struggling to combat terrorism in Yemen. The US has collaborated with the Yemeni government and its allies. The Houthis, with the back of Iran, have made drone and missile strikes on bordering Saudi Arabia escalating the tension in the region.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are not fighting directly to showcase their power. These two countries are in a proxy war. What happens in the Yemen war with Saudi Arabia can greatly mount regional tensions. Unstable Yemen means more attacks from terrorist groups residing there which is a threat to the western world.
All political players must cooperate in good faith, avoid intense actions, and put the interests of Yemenis first. All Groups should respect international humanitarian law by allowing unhindered access to aid and other essential goods to the famine-hit country.