Home/Daniel Larison/The People of Yemen Are Being Starved to Death

The People of Yemen Are Being Starved to Death

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis keeps getting worse:

With Yemen close to “breaking point” and nine million people on the brink of starvation, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday said it was scaling up its food aid to tackle one of the world’s worst hunger crises.

In order to do this, the WFP immediately needs more funding, and to date the efforts to combat famine in the country have been woefully underfunded. The coalition and Western governments that bear a large share of responsibility for creating this crisis have ample resources to fund relief efforts, but have chosen not to. Famine in Yemen has been brought about in large part by the U.S.-backed war and the coalition’s blockade of the country, and withdrawing U.S. support for the war and insisting on a lifting of the blockade would at least help make it possible to prevent more deaths from starvation and preventable disease.

In some parts of Yemen, it may already be too late. According to one report, the WFP states that famine already exists in some parts of Yemen:

Parts of Yemen are now in famine, according to a United Nations World Food Programme report seen by ITV News.

Doctors and aid workers here confirmed the assessment and told us there is no doubt the official statistics are lagging behind the reality on the ground.

There is still time to prevent famine from claiming more lives in Yemen, but that requires emergency funding of relief efforts, an end to the blockade, and at least a temporary halt to the fighting. The first is something that the U.S. and Britain and other governments responsible for this horror could easily do, and they could pressure the coalition on the other two if they were willing to try. The starvation of Yemen was avoidable, and the famine that is happening now is a result of deliberate policy choices made by coalition and Western governments to wage an unnecessary war on Yemen.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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