Stop Starving Yemen

 

 

More than six years of conflict have plunged Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Widespread fighting has killed thousands of innocent civilians and forced millions to flee their homes; however, it’s food that has become the deadliest weapon of war for the people of Yemen.

 

Half the population are facing acute levels of food insecurity and 2.3 million children under the age of five suffer from severe malnutrition. The UN has warned that Yemen is speeding towards a massive famine.

 

Right now, more than 20 million women, men and children need humanitarian assistance.

 

The economy has been shattered and food prices have risen to almost double pre-crisis levels, leaving basic food items out of reach for many Yemeni families.

 

The widespread destruction of health facilities and water infrastructure, coupled with the disruption in delivering aid due to fighting is leaving vulnerable communities even more at risk to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

 

If people can no longer afford food and if life-saving aid cannot reach them, they will struggle to survive.

What can be done to help end this crisis?

The people of Yemen are not starving, they are being starved. This crisis is entirely manmade and all parties to the conflict can resolve it.

 

The Irish government has condemned the attacks on Yemeni people.  Now, let’s continue to use Ireland’s influence within the international community to call for an end to the blockade, for unimpeded access for imports of life-saving aid, including food, and for an inclusive peace process that prioritises the needs, rights and dignity of the people of Yemen.

Will you take action?

With famine looming, and millions of children and pregnant women under severe risk from acute malnutrition, there has never been a more urgent time to act.

 

Will you take action now and demand that all parties to the conflict stop starving Yemen?

 

Our leaders have condemned the attacks on innocent Yemenis, but they need to shout louder and demand that food is no longer used as a weapon of war.

The people of Yemen

Hanan with her daughter Radhia*. Photo: VFX Aden / Oxfam

Hanan fled her home with her two young daughters and now lives in a camp for displaced people. As a single mother she provides all food, water and medicine for her children, often resorting to scavenging for plastic bottles to sell to raise a little income.

 

“We fled our home because of war, as we were vulnerable to the bombing … hearing its roar over our heads from inside the house. We were living in constant fear … Leaving behind our homes, clothes and our floor mattresses, we fled with our children.”

 

Hanan’s family is not alone. Over four million people have been forced to leave their homes due to the conflict. But that’s not all. As the fighting rages on – more than half of Yemeni people do not have enough to eat.

Fatima’s* mother, Haneen*, now has access to clean, safe drinking water from a tap by her home. As Haneen no longer has to spend money on water, she can now afford vegetables and healthy food for her children. Photo: VFX Aden / Oxfam

Responding to emergencies

As conflict continues in Yemen, the triple threat of Covid, cholera and hunger are tightening their grip. Millions Yemenis are on the brink of famine. As of March 2021, official figures on Covid-19 in Yemen show a mortality rate of nearly 22 percent - one of the highest in the world. While over one hundred and fifty thousand cases of cholera were recorded between January and June 2020 alone.

 

With the arrival of Covid-19, we refocused our work to respond. Across Yemen, we’re training community health volunteers to spread the word about the virus and the importance of hygiene and hand washing.

 

With your help, we’re stepping up our work in Yemen to help families in desperate need. Since the beginning of the conflict, our teams have reached more than three million people with much-needed clean water, cash assistance and food vouchers.

 

We also work to ensure that civilians are well protected.

 

By donating you'll be supporting the work done by Oxfam, and helping women, children and men facing unimaginable crisis in Yemen and around the world.

* Names changed