• Rohan Jasani 10th Etiwanda High

The Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

The Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen is in need of dire help as it is in the process of experiencing one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world at this point in time. How? You might ask. In order to understand their position today, it is important to go back to the root of the wars in 2011. It started as a simple political transition issue concerning the stability of Yemen. In that year, the long time authoritarian president of Yemen known as Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over his power to the deputy Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. As soon as Mr. Hadi took his position, he realized the many problems he had to do something about: jihadi attacks, the Houthi movement, separatist movements in the south, problems of loyalty of the security personnel who were loyal to Saleh and corruption, unemployement, and unstable food sourcing. Furthermore, the separatists wanted south Yemen to become an independent state once again while the Houthi movement was to fight against economic underdevelopment in Yemen. They also wanted more self-governing rights in Houthi regions. Their other major goal was to support a more democratic government that was less religious than other republics.


Out of all these crises, we will start with the Houthi movement, which struck with the weakness of the new president and was able to completely capture the Saada province and the capital Sanaa in 2015. Since then, the Houthi forces were able to conquer a large part of west Yemen. Houthi forces are currently fighting against the Yemeni government forces and other forces backed by the rest of the United Arab Emirates. The separatist movement is in conflict with the Southern Traditional Council (STC) forces who are trying to fight both movements. They had struck a previous peace treaty with them, but the STC forces broke the terms and now both are back in conflict concerning the region of Aden in Yemen. All of these conflicts are still carrying out in full effect as no party is overpowering another.


These events bring us to the current humanitarian disaster in Yemen. To start off, around 3.6 million Yemenis have been forced to evacuate due to the dangerous warlike conditions. Another 24 million Yemenis did not have the resources to leave and had to stay and are in distress right now. Two-thirds of the entire population is very close to experiencing famine. The constant warring has completely depleted the Yemen economy. A major part of the population is in need of food, healthcare, clean drinking water, and are susceptible to usually preventable disease outbreaks. Many of the affected children are victims of severe acute malnourishment, meaning that they are lacking the most basic nutrients in their body resulting in catching diseases, extreme weight loss, fatigue and even death. The entire situation is spiralling out of hand as a spike in the disease cholera was encountered earlier. The UN tried to launch a plea for financial aid which was severely underfunded which did not allow them to make a significant dent in the issue.


This situation needs our help even though Coronavirus is running rampant as this is a matter of life or death for many people, who are much closer to death. If possible, donate to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) USA to help these people who are in a much tougher situation than many of us could dream of.



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