As we reported last year, and again at the beginning of this year, there is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The civil war there, between Houthi rebels and a coalition led by Saudi Arabia which is supporting the government, has been raging since March 2015. In that time, over 10,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed. Although I hoped that the news there might get better due to a ceasefire that had been talked about for some time, according to the Voice of America, things are only getting worse in this benighted country.
The United Nations recently estimated that nearly 20 million people in Yemen needed humanitarian relief. However, the Yemeni planning minister, Mohamed El-Saadi, claims that that number is at least 10 per cent higher and that 22 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian relief, around 60 per cent of the country’s entire population.
Speaking at a meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which included the Gulf Cooperation Council and international organisations, El-Saadi warned that the:
“general security, political and humanitarian situation has witnessed an unprecedented decline.”
Whatever the precise numbers, the scale of the disaster is massive, and barely reported on. The fighting in the country has destroyed farms, infrastructure, blocked imports and worsened a fuel-crisis. It is an example of famine which is entirely man made and which has an answer in the political sphere, not the demographic one. That is, there is enough food to go around, whether or not people go hungry in the world is due to the choices that we humans make.