PEOPLE of Yemen, caught in a vicious cycle of civil war since 2014, are facing death and starvation due to the twin menace of war and coronavirus but regrettably the international community seems to have closed its eyes and left them at the mercy of the circumstances.
The war has already killed tens of thousands of people, made many more shelterless and pushed the country to the brink of famine but the crisis would become uncontrollable if urgent moves were not initiated for a permanent ceasefire and provision of much-needed humanitarian assistance.
The crisis in Yemen has regularly been called the ‘world’s worst humanitarian crisis’ by the United Nations and other organizations as about 13 million people are facing starvation and 80% of the country’s population (or around 23.2 million) require humanitarian aid but neither the UN nor other influential countries are doing enough to seek an end to the conflict and save life of people there.
Apart from the civil war, the plight of Yemeni people has been exacerbated by once-in-a-generation flooding last year and additional flooding during April/May this year besides 22% positivity rate of Covid-19.
The situation is alarming but regrettably the UN has not been able to convince resourceful countries of the globe to play their part in defusing the crisis both in political terms as well as its humanitarian angle.
Both Saudi Arabia and Government of Yemen have expressed their commitment to ending the conflict, which is an encouraging development and should form the basis for broader consultations among all stakeholders to arrive at a national ceasefire, lifting of blockade, opening of ports and airports and provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected population through a UN-mobilized funding campaign.