Famine and Conflict in War-Stricken Yemen
There are about 2.3 million Yemeni children under the age of five who are hungry—their lives are threatened by acute malnutrition in 2021, according to four United Nations agencies. Furthermore, 400,000 are expected to die if not given urgent treatment. The current level of famine in the country is unprecedented, causing severe suffering for millions of Yemenis.
Despite the ongoing efforts of humanitarian assistance, the rate of malnutrition in Yemen is increasing. In fact, it is the highest in the world. Data from the World Food Progamme stated that about one-third of Yemeni families hardly ever consume food like vegetables, fruit, meat, or dairy products—this is how grave the situation of hunger has become.
David Beasly, executive director of the World Food Program said, “The crisis in Yemen is a toxic mix of conflict, economic collapse, and a severe shortage of funding to provide life-saving help that’s desperately needed.”
The dire situation had lead to Yemeni children in need of basic assistance which include food aid, clean water, health services, schooling, and cash grants. In addition to hunger, malnourished children are more susceptible to diseases.
Cholera Outbreak: Another Hidden Vulnerability
The cholera outbreak in Yemen began in October of 2016 which has brought a high number of fatalities—killing one Yemeni nearly every hour. It is now more than ever that the country needs help, as the conflict in the country continues.
The conflict has brought a large-scale civilian health crisis. This led to a spiral of epidemic-prone diseases like the worst cholera outbreak recorded in modern times with more than 2.5 million suspected cases since October 2016.
In the previous year, there were a total of 230,540 suspected cholera cases and 84 related deaths across Yemen. There is a huge need to find a solution to lessen the outbreak of infectious disease.
The catastrophic diseases that are plaguing Yemen such as influenza, diphtheria, dengue, malaria, polio, and tuberculosis are not making it any easier for humanitarian organizations to control or avert the situation immediately.
COVID-19 Pandemic Exhausting Humanitarian Efforts
The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing and exhausting humanitarian efforts and responses, especially with the rising number of food insecurity in Yemen. According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, “More children will die with every day that passes without action. Humanitarian organizations need urgent predictable resources and unhindered access to communities on the ground to be able to save lives.”
With the country in the grip of conflict for too long and the threat of COVID-19—along with the economic decline, more lives would be on the line. Among the most hit governorates in Yemen are Aden, Al Dhale, Hajjah, Hodeida, Lahj, Taiz, and Sana’a City, these areas are expected to account for more than 50% of acute malnutrition cases in the country for the year 2021.
Lend Your Helping Hand
The humanitarian responses have remained critically underfunded, but you can help change this.
We at Humanity for Relief & Development (HRD) are on a continuous mission to improve the lives of children, individuals, and families affected by the ongoing war by providing them food, home, and health services through our sustainable projects.
To learn more about how you can make a difference, join HRD today.