The Starvation of Yemen Continues
Nawal al-Maghafi reports on the starvation of Yemen brought on by the war and coalition blockade:
Though Ashwaq Muharram was able to save a child’s life, more than million other children continue to starve across Yemen. Twenty out of 22 governorates are on the brink of famine. Unless something is done very soon to end their suffering, the country could lose an entire generation.
Yemen’s dependence on food imports was well-known before the war began, and when the intervention started many people that understood the situation warned that escalation of the conflict would produce the humanitarian disaster that has since unfolded. Blockading a country where many people already suffered from food insecurity was guaranteed to lead to the horrible conditions that prevail across much of Yemen today, but that is what the Saudi-led coalition has done for the last eighteen months with the approval of our government. Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is arguably the worst in the world, and it was made that way over the last year and a half mostly by the deliberate actions of the Saudis and their allies.
The civilian population in Yemen is at risk from both the bombing campaign and the slower, less visible strangulation of the blockade:
Hudayda, controlled by Houthi rebels who took over most of the country in 2014, was until recently the entry point for 70% of Yemen’s food imports. Now, not only is it under blockade, it has been pummelled by airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition – the port itself smashed, an entire tourist resort on the beach completely destroyed.
The bombs and the blockade pose a double threat to Muharram’s patients. “If you don’t die from an airstrike, you’re going to die from being ill and from starvation,” she says. “And the hardest way to die is dying from starvation.”
U.S. client states are creating famine conditions in one of the world’s poorest countries, and they are doing so with the assistance and blessing of our government. The starvation of the population is by far the most destructive and cruel part of the Saudi-led war on Yemen, and it is unfortunately the part that receives comparatively little attention in what little coverage of the war we do get. This report is an important exception to that, and I recommend that you read all of it.