Will Life ever return to Normal for these Families displaced by War in Yemen?by Shruthi Venkatesh November 23 2018, 3:54 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 0 secs
Yemen is the world’s single largest humanitarian crisis. Hunger is constant. The besieged port city of Hodeida in Yemen has become a “ghost town”. Families are skinny, and the children lack basic needs. Life has become dreadful by the days for those Yemeni residents, who are living in a classroom of 20 people in total. These are the families displaced by war. “People are living in pathetic conditions not fit for humans and completely untenable for those who are most vulnerable,” said Isaac Ooko, area manager in Hodeida for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Humanitarians have been warning of the wave of severe hunger and Yemen will have its steamroll if there is no major change. The only point to be stressed is that people simply can’t buy enough food. ‘Yemen could be facing the worst famine in 100 years if airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition are not halted’, the UN has warned. The resulting humanitarian catastrophe has seen at least 10,000 people killed and millions displaced. If war continues, famine could engulf the country in the next three months, with 12 to 13 million civilians at risk of starvation, according to Lise Grande, the agency’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen. She told the BBC “I think many of us felt as we went into the 21st century that it was unthinkable that we could see a famine like we saw in Ethiopia; that we saw in Bengal; that we saw in parts of the Soviet Union – that was just unacceptable. Many of us had the confidence that would never happen again and yet the reality is that in Yemen that is precisely what we are looking at.”
Yemen 2018, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world” -UN (yemenextra)
The intensifying hunger will however result in fragile health situation and more malnutrition will make outbreaks of cholera, measles and diphtheria even worse. Johannes Bruwer in Sana'a told the Guardian “Way back in 2007, when I arrived in Yemen for the first time, conflict was localised, focused on areas like Sa’ada. The conflict then grew, affecting thousands. Today, with war now in multiple big cities, many, many millions are suffering.” Johannes Bruwer is the outgoing head of delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen, where he has been based on and off for the past decade, including the past three years. He gives a clear report that among the population of 28 million people, 18 million people crave for food assistance. Families must make the excruciating choice between food and medical care having very little financial power.
Bruwer further says “I will soon leave Yemen, after almost three straight years of work here, work that the International Committee of the Red Cross carries out on all sides. A sad but simultaneously hopeful part of my job: this year, we have given out food for one month to nearly 850,000 people. As frontline prisons are often forgotten in conflict, we have also provided food for those incarcerated.”
It’s not that difficult to understand the Yemenis. They are desperate for food, for clothes, for medical care and all they want is to make their own decisions.
A dedication towards something is the power to embrace the goal. Such an action could be spotted at Yemen now. Most government workers have not been paid in more than two years. Medical staffs are not being paid; yet continue to show up to help people in medical need. Hence, humanity wins.