The republic of Yemen is a country located in the Middle East, specifically at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. In 2018, they had a reported population of 28.5 million people. Right now, the country is experiencing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in the midst of a civil war.
Yemen’s civil war began in 2014 when Houthi rebels took control of the country’s capital city, Sanaa. After unsuccessful negotiations, rebels seized the presidential palace. The president resigned and violence persisted between the Yemeni government and the UAE. The country has experienced unlawful, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, attacks on civilians, bombings of hospitals, schools, mosques, and more.
Already fragile prior to civil conflicts, Yemen’s economy was not equipped to handle the current humanitarian crisis that has only exacerbated their vulnerabilities. According to an article by Aljazeera, “Tens of thousands have been killed, an estimated four million displaced and 80 percent of the country’s 29 million people are dependent on aid for survival.” The United Nations World Food Programme reports nearly 10 million people are facing acute food shortages.
Almost 18 million people don’t have enough clean water or access to adequate sanitation. They’re facing the world’s largest cholera outbreak, racking up more than 2 million cases since 2016, and are of course being affected by COVID-19. UNICEF reports only half of the country’s health facilities are functioning and that many of the ones operating lack basic equipment.
Often, pregnant women don’t have access to hospitals. “Women and children are disproportionately affected by the near complete collapse of health services. Our objective is to save lives and eventually rebuild the health care system. For far too many people, time is running out,” says Rabih Torbay, president and CEO of Project HOPE.
Yemen needs help, and has needed it for a long time. The news coverage on this issue– the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is extremely minimal in the US. They’re facing a cholera outbreak, COVID-19, a civil war, and a humanitarian crisis all at the same time. Yemen belongs to its people and to them only, not the Houthi or Saudi Arabia.
The UN is trying to raise $2.4 billion for aid to Yemen and has yet to reach their goal. If you have the means, please consider donating to one the donation link in this Google Document that also includes petition links, email templates, and educational resources. In addition, you can play a multiple-choice quiz game on freerice.com (or on the Freerice app) which donates 10 grams of rice to people in need via the UN’s World Food Programme for every right question.