About nine months ago we discussed the humanitarian crisis that is occurring (still) in Yemen. I mentioned at the time how, despite thousands of dead and millions going hungry, I knew little about the conflict and that the media wasn’t informing me much about it (at least the general media here in New Zealand – admittedly, relying on New Zealand media is a sure-fire way of not knowing anything about much…)
Now for an update from the conflict from RT (I know, it’s all propaganda etc etc). Stephen O’Brien, the head of the UN’s Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, has warned the UN that the death toll from the conflict has topped 7,000, there have been over 40,000 wounded and that two-thirds of the Yemeni population need humanitarian aid. According to O’Brien:
“…10.3 million Yemenis … require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives [and] at least two million people need emergency food assistance to survive.”
He also warned that there is the possibility of famine in 2017. Already, the number of “silent deaths”, people dying from disease and severe food shortages, are rising, the majority being children. But with no way of accurately recording such deaths, it is not clear how many are dying due to the war. O’Brien claimed that nearly three million babies and young children are “acutely malnourished” a 63 percent increase from 15 months ago.
As we reported last year, there was some hope of a ceasefire in April 2016. Unfortunately, any ceasefire is still only a hope. While the Yemeni leader has urged the Houthis to withdraw from all cities and lay down their arms, while the rebels are pressing for a political deal (without giving up their one bargaining chip beforehand!) Unfortunately, the past few months have seen escalated military activity and armed clashes have taken place in many areas – including the Sanaa governorate, Taiz city and the border areas between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. All the while the UN is warning that the only way the humanitarian situation can be relieved is for both parties to renew their commitment to a cessation of hostilities. However, there is a good chance that I will be updating you on the ongoing war in Yemen in a further nine months or so.