Yemen and Somalia are running out of time to be saved from famine:
The world has only three to four months to save millions of people in Yemen and Somalia from starvation, as war and drought wreck crops and block deliveries of food and medical care, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday.
There is urgent need for aid in both countries, as well as in Nigeria and South Sudan, but Yemen’s civilian population faces the most severe and widespread crisis. It is in Yemen where outside intervention and blockade have done the greatest harm. As a result, seven million people are on the verge of starving to death and another ten million people are not far behind. It can’t be emphasized enough that this is something that has been done to the people of Yemen on purpose by the Saudi-led coalition with the political and military support of the U.S. and Britain. All of these governments are not merely allowing millions of Yemenis to starve to death, but have worked to cause their starvation.
If Yemen’s war has generally been neglected by the rest of the world, its humanitarian crisis has been similarly ignored. Appeals to fund relief efforts have gone unfulfilled, and the sheer scale and severity of the crisis has been overlooked by most. Even now that the crisis is beginning to receive some attention, it is almost too late. By the time that famine is officially declared in Yemen, it will be too late for millions of people, many of whom will have already died. Unlike in some other conflicts where U.S. influence is limited or non-existent, our government has the leverage to make the coalition halt its campaign and lift its blockade of the country, but it has to be willing to use it. There is no hint that the new administration would even consider this course of action, but if they don’t they will go down along with the previous administration as enablers of one of the worst man-made famines in modern times.