With the constant negativity in the news, especially in 2020, I decided to take a step back this summer and observe and truly learn before I write. Particularly regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, I wanted to take action in my personal life before sharing on social media. Another topic that has only recently gained attention is the Yemen Crisis, which I want to talk about below.
For anyone who does not know, Yemen is currently suffering from the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. There has been a civil war in the country for the past five years between the government and a faction known as the Houthis, destroying schools and hospitals in the process. More information about the history of the rebel Houthis and the clash with the Yemeni government can be found here. The main issue is the widespread food insecurity in Yemen, which has been driven by the economic crisis and the environmental crises, and with COVID-19, is now worse than ever.
10.2 million children do not have access to basic healthcare in Yemen. In any given year since 2015, 1.8 million children are suffering from acute malnutrition in Yemen, with 400,000 of them being life-threatening.
Economic crisis and inflation continue along with a depletion in foreign exchange reserves, causing the local currency to deplete 19% in value against the US dollar from December 2019 – June 2020.
COVID & OTHER DISEASES
Now that Covid-19 has reached Yemen, they are facing multiple crises and receiving limited assistance. Sanitation, healthcare staff and equipment, and clean water are in limited supply. COVID-19 is further affecting an already-limited food supply and job opportunities. A cholera outbreak emerged in 2017 has since affected 2.5 million people in Yemen.
Yemen has been subject to desert locust storms, further affecting food production and access. Flash floods and cyclones continue to destroy the area.
Saudi Arabia, the country that borders Yemen has a blockade surrounding the country which prevents aid from coming in. The United States and the United Kingdom are assisting the government as well, through weapon deals and air raids.
MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
Women and girls are disproportionately at risk amid conflict. Assaults targeted at women rose 63% in 2019 and millions of children were born into the world critically malnourished. Children continue to be killed and maimed while their access to education and health services are depleting rapidly. Before COVID-19, about 2 million children were out of school. Now, 7.8 million children do not have access to education.
RESOURCES TO HELP
- UNICEF is getting cash directly to Yemeni families who need it most.
- Islamic Relief is building sanitation facilities and distributing medical aid to Yemenis suffering from disease.
- Doctors Without Borders is treating war-wounded patients as conflict in Yemen escalates.
- Free Rice is a free game that donates 10 grains of rice per every correct answer to those in need via the UN’s World Food Program (which is currently focusing on Yemen).