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Yemen Faces Worst Humanitarian Crisis in the World

SANAA – The war in Yemen is contributing to what, according to the UN, could become “the worst famine of the world in the last hundred years”, Yemen News Agency, known as Saba reported Wednesday.
“The escalation of the conflict since March 2015 has dramatically compounded the protection crisis in which millions of people face risks to their security and fundamental rights,” reports OCHA.
Before the escalation of the war in Yemen, the country imported 90% of its staple foods, as well as almost all its fuel and medicines. After the intensification of the war in March 2015, borders, airports and ports were closed intermittently.
Stressing that more than 20 million people across the country are food insecure, half of them suffering from extreme hunger, the report focuses on some key humanitarian issues: essential survival needs, protection of civilians and livelihoods, as well as essential basic services.
More than 16 million people do not have access to basic health care, while air strikes continue – one every 99 minutes in the past three years – and Yemenis have no access to food and health services that they need to survive on.
Nearly 240,000 people are already living in conditions like famine in some places. Hunger is most severe in areas where there is fighting.
Food insecurity is particularly severe in combat zones and particularly affects IDPs and host communities, marginalized groups, fishing communities and landless workers.
In Yemen’s Humanitarian Needs Report published in 2019, 14.3 million people are in dire need, with about 3.2 million requiring treatment for acute malnutrition; this includes two million children under five and more than one million pregnant and lactating women.
Children, the chronically ill, the elderly and the disabled, pregnant women and nursing mothers are at particularly high risk of starvation and illness.
More than 11 million Yemeni children need help: almost every child in the country, a Yemeni child dies every ten minutes of fully preventable war-related causes, and thousands of people have already been killed or injured following a conflict.
UN agency data shows that 17.8 million people in total do not have access to safe water and sanitation, and 19.7 million have no access to health care adequate health.
More than half of Yemeni health facilities have already been destroyed. In addition, the coalition is restricting access to ports and all parties to the conflict have prevented humanitarian organizations from providing life-saving medicines and clean water, exacerbating the growing epidemic of cholera, which has cost the lives of 2,300 people over the past year.
Meanwhile, grain that could help feed millions of people is still at risk of rotting in a key Red Sea storage facility because conditions are too dangerous to achieve, said UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and United Nations Emergency Relief Chief Mark Lowcock earlier this week.
This crisis only grows as conflict rages on and people in need are prevented from receiving vital assistance.
During the conflict, as many as 4.3 million people were displaced, of whom some 3.3 million are still displaced and about 60 per cent have been displaced since the escalation of the conflict four years ago.
In 2019, displacement is expected to continue in line with the intensity of the conflict, with partners predicting that between 500,000 and 1.2 million people will be displaced again depending on the dynamics of the conflict.
177,000 people have crossed Yemen’s borders into neighboring countries in search of protection since the escalation of the conflict.
The geography of the country and the dynamics of conflict limit the options for people trying to flee abroad. The ocean and the desert enclose it, with only Saudi Arabia and Oman as direct neighbors. Yemen is surrounded by vast and extremely unstable terrain in the east. neighboring countries are only accessible by a perilous sea voyage to the south.
In the last four years of intense conflict, the forces of conflict have left tens of thousands dead or wounded, including at least 17,700 civilians, as confirmed by the United Nations.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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