Yemen is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe

Yemen does not come out of the well. The arab country he finds himself immersed once more in what he has become worst humanitarian crisis of the world. The year 2020 has been a challenge for a very weakened country that has faced a climbing of violence in the framework of the civil war confronting the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition, a economic crisis and the pandemic. The 70% of the population suffers of food insecurity O malnutrition. The UN has called for international solidarity to obtain more financing and prevent the near threat of famine become reality.

The risk of famine is increasing in the Middle Eastern country. According to the UN, every 10 minutes, child yemeni go dead by causes that can be prevented like malnutrition or diarrhea. Of the 30.5 million Yemenis, more than a third need humanitarian aid for survive. Annabel Symington, Head of Communication for the World Food Program (WFP) in Yemen explains: “The situation is extremely worrying. The objective is stay away from famine. Once the country falls into famine, it is too late and people would starve. “

Highly undernourished children

In some of the country’s regions, as in the lowlands of Hodeidah, west of the capital, Fury, one in four children suffers a severe sublimation. Lack of food constitutes a serious risk for the youngest, since it “provokes them irreversible damage and affects a whole generation “explains the humanitarian worker. Specifically, people who suffer from food insecurity eat less or less frequently (one or two meals a day), in addition to eating little varied foods.

In the last year, the armed conflict it has become extremely worse, which has had direct consequences on the lack of food. Bringing food to regions closest to war zones is a tortuous path that leads to them suffering from shortage of some essential products.

Economic crisis

Yemen was immersed in a very difficult economic situation that has worsened with health crisis. According to Annabel Symington, the country depends on a 90% of the imports foreign from food. However, the local currency devaluation and the almost non-existent state dollar reserves still make more expensive and difficult to import from abroad, with the direct consequence of an increase in prices of the foods in local markets. Also, many people are unemployed and various public sector employees, such as teachers, they have not charged. Families have less purchasing power and they can’t afford to buy enough food.

The country is highly dependent on the humanitarian aid for the survival of its population. The WFP, which has programs to respond to the food crisis in the country, works for to feed a 13 million Yemenis throughout the year. However, their programs run the risk of being cut if there is not enough financing by the international community. For now, for example, The UN has received only $ 1.62 billion for Yemen, 48% of what it needed in 2020. It represents a huge drop in funding compared to the $ 3.6 billion received in 2019.

Lack of funding

The main donors, the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Germany and the European Union, they have cut their aid because of the crisis of covid-19 and the problem of interference that exists in the country at the time the humanitarian aid is distributed, which has direct causes in the war.

It is not the first time that the media and international organizations have warned of the risk of famine in Yemen. Annabel Symington explains that already in 2018, the country knew a similar situation. At that time, Saudi Arabia donated 2 billion dollars to the Central Bank of Yemen to support the economy. The problem is that this same reservation now is approaching zero and donations have been much lower than in recent years. “What we need is that donor countries give so much as in previous years “, concludes the expert.



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