Civil War, Famine and Disease has Yemen on its knees

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The world as we know it is continuing to change. Anti-racism riots, a pandemic, wildfires and much more have already been stand out events in 2020; and it is barely halfway through June.

Yet whilst this happens, one of the most catastrophic humanitarian crises in history continues to plague Yemen.

People living in fear of civil war and famine are now becoming sick and dying of Covid-19. It is pushing the country closer to the brink than it has ever been before.

Images of malnourished children and bombed out streets have become a shocking regularity whenever Yemen is covered in the media. The fragile situation is becoming far worse because of Covid-19. The virus is spreading quickly throughout a population already suffering. To add to this, the presence of international aid organisations which were in Yemen to help those suffering as a result of the crisis have needed to pull out due to the outbreak.

The statistics of the atrocities in Yemen are staggering. Approximately 80% of the population, around 24 million Yemenis, need humanitarian help. A vast number of the country’s health facilities have been destroyed in the war; meaning that the sick and wounded suffered greatly even before the arrival of Covid-19.

Millions of people dispersed, most of whom have low to no immunity to diseases such as Covid-19, and a critically low number of tests makes a recipe for disaster.

The painfully thin health resources have become stretch to near breaking point and with few ways to track to spread of the disease, it is only going to get far worse.

The speed and devastation of the disease in Yemen was highlighted in an investigation by Sky News. In the city of Aden in the south of the country, an estimated 500 people died in one week with Covid-19 symptoms.

If most of the people can’t get enough food each day to stave off starvation, then what chance do they have against disease? If images of graves being dug in preparation for a spike in deaths are anything to go by, the answer is very little.

The disproportionate distribution of wealth in the world is being laid bare for all to see. For those who wonder why the UK and other of the wealthiest nations in the world aren’t doing more, they ask good questions.

Amnesty International have concluded that both sides have been responsible for the humanitarian crisis, and that the war had resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 people and forced over 3.5 million from their homes.

The group also pointed out that, even five years into the conflict, external nations are fuelling the destruction. Amnesty International say that Western states have also supplied the UAE with more than $3.5 billion worth of warships, combat aircraft, tanks, armoured vehicles, small arms, light weapons, and associated parts and ammunition.

The funding of Saudi Arabia by these nations is directly affecting millions of Yemenis. It has done for years.

The crisis has, sadly, seemingly always been too far down on too many country’s list of priorities. The suffering of millions in the past five years has gone unchecked, and it is a crime against humanity.

In 2020, with everything which has happened, the people of Yemen have even less chance of getting the help they desperately need. The public are signing petitions and raising awareness about what is going on which is great, but they need more.

The war in Yemen has affected so many, Covid-19 is another blow to a nation which has suffered more than most; and many western nations have been shown to have played a part in the destruction.

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