The Horrifying Starvation of Yemen Continues
The horrifying conditions in Yemen continue to get worse:
Seven million Yemenis are closer than ever to starvation, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country warned Tuesday, almost two years since a conflict escalated between the government and rebels.
“Seven million Yemenis do not know where their next meal will come from and are ever closer to starvation” in a country of 27 million people, Jamie McGoldrick said.
“Over 17 million people are currently unable to adequately feed themselves and are frequently forced to skip meals — women and girls eat the least and last,” he said in a statement.
Yemen suffered from food insecurity before the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led intervention began in 2015, but that intervention, the ensuing damage to the country’s infrastructure and ports (most of it caused by coalition bombing), and the coalition’s cruel blockade have brought millions of people to the brink of famine. By enabling the coalition’s campaign, the U.S., Britain, and other supporting governments are partly responsible for creating the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, and they have had a hand in causing the famine that is now unfolding there.
The disaster that engulfs Yemen was entirely predictable at the start of the intervention, and month after month many people kept warning that this is what would happen as a result of this reckless military intervention. The war has received intermittent coverage, but has been largely ignored. Millions of people are close to perishing from hunger and preventable diseases in a crisis that need not have happened and might still be ameliorated if there were a coordinated international response. Unfortunately, the international response has been anemic at best, and there is scant attention paid to the crisis in the Western countries whose governments have been working to exacerbate the civilian population’s misery.
Our government has aided and abetted the Saudis and their allies not only in their indiscriminate bombing, but has also fully backed the blockade without any criticism. The coalition has repeatedly targeted port facilities and critical roads and bridges needed to bring in and distribute basic necessities. Through all of it, the U.S. has reliably armed and refueled coalition planes so that they can continue to wreck the country. The U.S.-backed Hadi government further compounded the disaster by relocating the central bank to Aden, which in turn made it all but impossible to secure financing for what few imports still make it into the country. Obama began the disgraceful policy of backing the Saudi-led war, and Trump has continued it and given every indication that U.S. support will only increase.
The horror of what has been deliberately done to Yemen over the last two years is matched only by the near-total international indifference to the plight of its people.