“The Security Council have asked me to update you today on the humanitarian situation in Yemen. In a word, it is bleak. We are losing the fight against famine. The position has deteriorated alarmingly in recent weeks. We may now be approaching a tipping point, beyond which it will be impossible to prevent massive loss of life as a result of widespread famine across the country.”
Those were the words of UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock as he briefed the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen on September 21, 2018.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), “18 million Yemenis (or two-thirds of the population) are food insecure, 8.4 million of which severely so.” WFP's Executive Director David Beasley told reporters that, “Yemen is undeniably the world's worst humanitarian crisis by far.”
What all the reports and statements from the United Nations and its different bodies and agencies lack is a clear condemnation of who is responsible for creating and aggravating this humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
In Fire This Time Volume 11 Issue 12, December 2017, in an article titled “Who is Behind the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen?” we wrote:
“The U.S. backed Saudi-led coalition's war, and blockade of Yemen is at the root of this crisis…Saudi Arabia continues to claim that it is fighting to bring back legitimacy and stability to Yemen, and the region, by reinstating Yemen's former president Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi…Backed by the United States, the Saudi-led coalition started its bombing campaign on Yemen called “Operation Decisive Storm,” in March 2015. Within a month of their indiscriminate bombing campaign, the Saudi government claimed success and announced the end of “Operation Decisive Storm” and the start of a reconstruction effort named “Operation Renewal of Hope.”
Now over three years of Saudi-led coalition war on Yemen, where is the renewal of hope? In the words of WFP’s David Beasley, “Yemen is a disaster, and I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel right now.” The Saudi led military intervention in Yemen has only aggravated the situation in Yemen.
The UN has documented over 17,000 civilian casualties in Yemen. In addition to the human loss, the U.S. backed Saudi-led coalition has bombed and destroyed vital infrastructure, homes, schools, hospitals, roads, sanitary and water system, cultural centers and even historical monuments. This has left millions of Yemenis without access to necessities. According to the UN, 22.3 million out of the country’s population of 29.3 million rely on humanitarian assistance to survive.
The people of Yemen are not only victims of the daily bombings, but Saudi Arabia is also imposing a sea, land and air blockade on the country. This blockade is causing a shortage of fuel, food and medicine which has worsened the humanitarian crisis.
The situation has recently become direr after the Saudi and Emirati military started their assault on the key Yemeni port city of Hodeida. More than 80 percent of imports pass through the Red Sea port, including commercial and humanitarian aid. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen said, in June 2018, in response to the start of the Saudi-led military offensive on Hodeida that in a “prolonged worst case (scenario), we fear that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything - even their lives”.
Who is an Accomplice of the Crisis?
The United States government has been supporting the Saudi-led coalition to carry out their bombing campaign on Yemen since day one. The U.S. has been providing political, military, logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi-led coalition, in addition to restocking the weaponry of the Saudi and Emirati militaries.
More recently, on September 12, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he has certified to Congress “that the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments.” This certification was needed to allow U.S. military aircraft to continue their mid-air refuelling missions of Saudi and UAE fighter jets bombing Yemen.
The Canadian government is also guilty of providing military support to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was the largest non-U.S. importer of Canadian-made military goods and technology in 2016 and 2017. The Trudeau government has also approved a $15billion arms deal to provide Saudi Arabia with light armoured vehicles (LAV) equipped with heavy guns and cannon.
Stop Bombing Yemen! End Blockade of Yemen!
Despite all the military and political support, the Saudi-led coalition gets from the United States and other imperialist countries, Saudi Arabia is in a quagmire in Yemen. They haven’t been able to impose their control or dominance over the country. They have only brought death and destruction to Yemen, their claim of wanting peace and stability is a big ugly lie.
The people of Yemen continue to resist daily to the war, and military intervention on their country by the U.S. backed Saudi-led coalition. They are sharing their stories with the world through their voices and their art. They are braving the Saudi fighter jets to take to the streets around Yemen and protest against the war on their country.
Peace-loving people around the world have been joining the Yemeni people to help break the media silence and oppose the Saudi-led military intervention in the country. We stand with the Yemeni people as they fight for their freedom, self-determination, sovereignty, human rights and better future for the children of Yemen!
Follow Azza Rojbi on Twitter:@azza_r14
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