The worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Those are not just our words, basically every humanitarian institution around the globe is claiming as such. Now that this dark anniversary is around the corner, it’s time to take a closer look at the worsening situation.
It has been seven years since the war broke out between Yemeni rebel groups such as the now dominant Houthis and its monarchy supported by Saudi Arabia and other Arab autocratic governments. That was of course the main theatre of war until a while ago. Nowadays, Southern separatists have their own transitional council and radical infringed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State have found a new breeding ground in the war-stricken land. As expected, war has taken its toll on civilians lives but similar to WWI, it’s mostly the disease and famine that does the killing rather than bullets and bombs.
According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs only a quarter of the population could possibly survive without humanitarian assistance mostly because they make up about the bulk of the fighting force which needs to be constantly reinforced at the expense of others. In other statistics we face staggering numbers such as 3.65 million who have lost their homes to more than 22,000 air raids conducted by Saudi-led coalition and the bombs they dropped on people’s heads. Out of every five children in Yemen one is malnourished and starving while the price for minimum daily food has risen dramatically. That means soon more and more families would experience the bitter taste of starvation.
Although the war alone is enough for a nation to plunge into famine and chaos, sanctions will undoubtedly make things even worse. It is like the time when bubonic plague broke out in medieval kingdoms and some made the mistake of barricading the whole towns. The only difference between the situation then and there with here and now in Yemen is that the responsible parties are perfectly aware of what kind of plague they’re unleashing upon the targeted country. The situation in Yemen was bad when the war broke out but ever since Trump it has gotten worse.
It was during Trump’s era that with some nudging on Saudi lobbyists part, the Houthi rebels were officially designated as a terrorist organisation and as such many donations and foreign aid packages, which by the way weren’t that much of a help and were already decreasing because of the Covid-19 pandemic, suddenly got slashed. Same as always, the U.S. administration claimed that exemptions were made for aid organisations but those who knew better understood that this was yet another obscene bureaucratic loophole since the majority of these aids need to be transferred through the commercial entities to the country and those commercial entities aren’t exempt from U.S. rules.
In spite of all the atrocities that happened over these last few years, it appears that the people’s resistance is finally paying off. Out of all those who were once considered part of the Saudi coalition almost everybody has dropped out and UAE only sticks around for the sake of its own agenda, supporting the southern separatists, which stands in odds with Saudi agenda. Furthermore, a while ago Biden, who had just assumed the office, appointed a new special envoy to the war-stricken country and pledged both to reverse Trump’s decision and not to support the Saudi-led coalition’s offensive operations against Yemen. Nowadays Saudi Arabia stands alone sinking ever deeper in a swap that was created by its own mistake in the first place, awaiting for the events to take a different turn. That tomorrow of course would never come again and for the sake of their own not so defendable reputation, a resolution needs to be reached.