While Yemen’s cholera epidemic continues to grow, there are over a million malnourished young children who are at greatest risk of contracting the disease:
More than a million children are suffering from malnutrition amid a deadly cholera outbreak in Yemen, says Save the Children.
The charity says new analysis of district level data reveals there are more than one million acutely malnourished children under the age of five living in areas with high levels of infection.
Millions are starving in Yemen after two years of conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels, which has caused food shortages and widespread internal displacement.
Malnutrition substantially reduces children’s immune systems leaving than at least three times more likely to die if they contract cholera.
Diarrhoeal diseases like cholera are also a leading cause of malnutrition, leading to fears children may starve even if they survive the disease [bold mine-DL].
Yemen suffers from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and its young children are among the most affected by the ravages of starvation and disease brought on by the war on Yemen. All parties to the conflict are responsible for this to varying degrees, but the Saudi-led coalition and its Western patrons, including our government, bear a large share of responsibility. The coalition’s intervention has had an extremely deleterious effect on the country, and that has been a deliberate policy carried out by the coalition governments and their supporters. It is also within the coalition’s power to halt their campaign and render aid, but at every step they have impeded relief efforts, blocked the delivery of cranes to a critical port (after they destroyed or damaged the cranes that were there), relocated the central bank and helped cause the collapse of public services, and devastated the country’s infrastructure with their indiscriminate bombing. It is a man-made crisis, and the coalition and their Western backers are chiefly responsible for creating it.
Jonathan Kennedy likewise concludes that the Saudis and their allies bear the greatest responsibility for creating the conditions that led to the current cholera epidemic:
These numbers indicate that the outbreak is not simply an inevitable consequence of civil war. It is rather a direct outcome of the Saudi-led coalition’s strategy of targeting civilians and infrastructure in rebel-controlled areas.
Because the U.S. has enabled the Saudi-led war on Yemen from the start, our government is also to blame for this.