As food prices in Yemen continue to increase, humanitarian activists warn the United Nations that the already-hungry population of Yemen could very well face even more tragic situation.
This Monday, more than 40 humanitarian actors wrote a letter to the United Nations and addressed the grave hunger situation in Yemen, warning also that as food prices continue to rise by hundreds of percent, more and more population in Yemen could face hunger.
“Since the start of the war in Yemen in 2015 by the Saudi-led Coalition,” the letter wrote, “Yemen’s economy has steadily declined, and today, it is on the verge of collapse. While economic challenges are rife across the country, rising inflation and the deterioration of public services are making life unbearable for hundreds of thousands of families in Yemen”.
The letter also noted that “as of August 2023, more than 50% of households in the country are unable to meet their basic food requirements as the price of a minimum food basket – food a family needs to survive for a month – has increased by nearly 300% in the past five years”.
But it is not just food that is making Yemen a living hell for Yemenis. As the humanitarian activists wrote in their letter to the UN, “Power stations are shutting down due to a lack of fuel and high prices as refineries are not operating. As a result, power outages in Aden, for example, are reaching 17 hours per day, amid soaring temperatures, impacting service provision and economic activity.”
Addressing also the irregularity and delays in the payment of public wages as a major issue across the country, the letter noted that especially in the southern parts of the country, schools planned with huge difficulty to reopen in September, but because of teacher strikes over low and delayed payments, education for thousands of children has been disrupted.
“The economic downturn has led to high levels of unemployment and poverty. Hundreds of businesses have been disrupted or destroyed during the conflict, leaving many without livelihood opportunities,” the letter added.
The effects of the Saudi war in Yemen will last for years
Thanks to Iran-Saudi Arabia’s recent rapprochement deal, experts expect that the Kingdom will finally agree to end the war in Yemen. However, the impacts of years of airstrikes, and economic sanctions by the Saudi-led Coalition against the people of Yemen will surely remain for years to come.
It is also worth mentioning here that since the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen in March 2015, several countries have been selling arms to the Saudis in large proportions, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands.
This makes the war in Yemen a responsibility for not only Saudi Arabia, but many Western countries complicating the crimes that are still happening in Yemen.
Asking support from the international community to resolve the Yemen crisis, humanitarian activists also noted in their letter to the UN that both the UN and individual states involved in the conflict must take concrete measures to resolve the power crisis and ensure access to basic services, including healthcare, sanitation, water, and education for Yemeni people.
“The international community should support a fully funded economic recovery plan to stabilize the economy and prevent further food price rises, as well as provide foreign reserves to subsidize commercial imports of food and fuel,” the letter wrote. Last but not least, the letter warned that Yemen is at a “critical juncture”, and that “concerted efforts by parties to the conflict and the international community are needed now to support stability, peace, and prosperity”.