Worst Humanitarian Crisis! Yemen is Getting Wiped Off Because of the Pandemic

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We can be talking about all the issues in this world but there is one issue that has been left out. The whole country of Yemen is in a state of chaos. According to a leading news channel, Coronavirus will delete Yemen from maps all over the world. The pandemic has wrecked the place because of the civil war for almost 6 years. According to the United Nations, a child under the age of five dies every 10 minutes of preventable causes. Moreover, UNICEF declared this as the largest humanitarian crisis and the astonishing part is that the media houses do not cover this topic. There are children who need our help but no one is listening to them. No one wants to listen to the people begging for security.

The north and the south of the country joined hands in 1990 but still disagree with each other. There is a lot of fighting going on between the government and the anti-government parties. This situation became worse when in 2011 the President of the country resigned from his duty. Even after this, the fighting did not stop and the new president struggled to keep everyone in peace and harmony. The rebels took advantage of the new president‘s weakness and began to loot the areas. Various people joined hands with these protesters because they were not happy with the government. In 2014, the country started a civil war when the rebels who were backed by Iran took over the capital of the country. With this, the neighboring countries started to bomb Yemen because they wanted to remove the current government. The civil war is going on till now and the country is having a very difficult time. The civil war has become a communal war because of the religious issues pertaining in the area.

Many people have voiced their opinion about the same but popular media houses have not covered this topic. Both the parties agreed to stop fighting in 2018 and some people hoped that better days would come for the country. But this fact was broken within minutes after coming into effect. Since the nation was at unrest, various political groups like Al-Qaeda nested themselves in the country and grew stronger. They carry attacks in the city to acquire a major part of it. They are restricting any help that is being provided to the country and people are dying because of hunger. The price of food has gone high and people cannot afford to eat. People also do not have access to healthcare facilities. In 2017, there was an outbreak of cholera in Yemen because of poor sanitization. People were killed during this time and many people were forced to leave their homes. Various figures have suggested that 80% of the population of the country needs help. Lives of the people are at stake and the situation is uncontrollable with the pandemic going on.  

International organizations have given billions of rupees for Yemen but that was way below their fundraising target. More than 30 of the 41 you and supported programs in Yemen will close in the coming weeks if additional funds are not raised. The country of Yemen needs outside help. The country does not have any testing capacity. Yemen has one of the world’s lowest testing rates. The hospitals do not have any beds and basic medicines are also not available. The country’s malnourished population has the lowest immunity level in the whole world. Water, sanitization, and hygiene services for the population would start shutting down in July if UNICEF does not get the funding by the end of this month. It is also said that the condition of the children in Yemen is worse than in any other part of the world. Children are already in need of clothes and food and the pandemic has just added on to the fire. 

Displaced Yemeni children sit outside their makeshift shelter in an empty lot in the Yemeni coastal city of Hodeidah. Save the Children says more than 50,000 children are believed to have died in 2017.

Families in Yemen have experienced so much pain and anguish that they have seen five years of war, widespread displacement, and a crippled economy. Famine like conditions, floods, and various health crisis is always going on in Yemen. Dengue, cholera, and now Coronavirus have been the hotspots of Yemen. There is a lack of proper infrastructures like hospitals, schools, and water plants. The water structure in Yemen operates at less than 5% of its efficiency. Waste is piling up in the street. Yemen used to import 90% of its food that they had. With the various block which is coming up because of the war, food is not being able to come. The supply chain has been broken completely and people do not have any money to eat. Malnutrition rates are the highest in Yemen. Approximately 360000 people are at risk of dying if they do not get immediate assistance. Stunting amongst the children is widespread and 50% of all the children in Yemen are stunted. 70% of the population is going hungry and 10 million of them are a step away from famine.

Along with this, another social crisis is going on in the country. Child marriage is a coping mechanism that various families are using. Some families have married the daughters at an early stage so that they can use the dowry for food. Girls as young as eight or 10 years are getting married to reduce the number of family members the people have to feed. Pregnant women have been the hardest hit by this situation.

More than this, it is almost impossible to give assistance to over 12 million people each month. With the supply chain shocks that happen every now and then and local food markets being looted, people are not able to help Yemen in the right way. Since the start of 2020, the prices of food has increased by over 25%. The weak economic situation and the depleted foreign currency reserves have led to this situation.

With the pandemic going on, another dark hole has been created for the country which is already in a state of disdain!

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