According to the United Nations (UN), Yemen is on the “brink of famine” and is amidst the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. The World Food Programme (2016) states that 17 million Yemeni people are estimated to be food insecure. Around 7.3 million of this group are believed to be in need of emergency food assistance. In a seven-month period during 2016, the number of people food insecure increased by 3 million.
The Emergency Food Security and Nutrition Assessment’s preliminary results indicate that nutrition conditions and food security are deteriorating rapidly. Over two million children are malnourished, which is a 63% rise in one year. The UN Security Council recently held discussions over concerns with Yemen. They stated that one child dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes.
The Republic of Yemen was established in 1990 by the unification of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) and the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen). However, the unification failed to produce stability and end tensions, as was intended. Fractional infighting began then and continues to today between the Houthi rebels and a coalition of Persian Gulf states.
The ongoing conflict and political instability that permeates Yemen has ultimately reduced food security. The state has been engulfed with internal displacement, increasing food prices and significant damage to infrastructure. An embargo that was implemented by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has pushed the economy to a near standstill. The coalition’s ordering of airstrikes has caused more than ten thousand civilian deaths and further ruined the state’s infrastructure.
The agricultural economy is causing significant concern. The state’s capital, Sana’a, has plummeting water reserves and is likely to completely run out of water soon.
Some suggest that The United States (US) should become more actively involved in the crisis. However, the US are not sure how they can help. They will not use military action, as the worsening condition for people around Yemen has been primarily caused by the war. The US does not want to cause further damage to the infrastructure or food shortages.
Financial aid has been used to great effect in helping with the food shortage. CARE international is a global confederation that continues to advocate for Yemen. Yemen is last on the UN’s development Index list ( a composite statistic measuring education, life expectancy and per capita income). The UN has asked for $2.07 billion in emergency relief for Yemen to help resolve the issue. So far $324.5 million has been given to Yemen from all around the world. The Australian government recently responded to these calls and pledged to donate ten million dollars. All in all, every dollar donated to Yemen is important in helping to alleviate the widespread hunger.
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