THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN YEMEN AND THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO THE ISSUE
-By Ariumathy a/p Mannar
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is among the worst in the world. A humanitarian crisis is the result of the civil war between the Houthis and the Yemeni government. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia helped the Yemeni government in March 2015 stop the Houthis' progress in Yemen as part of their military operations to expose bloodshed and scary conditions in their daily lives. to draw attention to the fact that major obstacles and conflict fuel the growth of humanitarian disasters.
As the wave of anti-government protests that swept the Middle East area expanded to Yemen, the war in Yemen was set off in the wake of the Arab revolutions of 2011. Many Yemenis had a time of optimism when the protests resulted in a shift in the country's leadership. But since the nation's fundamental issues were not resolved, dissatisfaction grew and eventually led to civil war. It was widely believed that Iran was supporting one side of the dispute in order to destabilize the area and expand its own power. 2015 saw the start of airstrikes by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in support of Yemen's internationally recognized government. The conflict is getting bloodier after four years of intense fighting, and efforts to negotiate a political settlement are getting more difficult. 80% of Yemen's men, women, and children are in urgent need of assistance as a result of the largest humanitarian disaster in history, which was caused by men.
YEMENI PEOPLE IMPACTED BY THE CONFLICT
Yemen has long been the poorest country in the Arab world, with almost three-quarters of its people living in poverty. Its humanitarian crisis has been considered one of the worst in history. More than a million people have been displaced as a result of the violence, which has also caused cholera outbreaks, medicine shortages, and hunger concerns.
Yemen suffered from a water shortage, and frequent airstrikes destroyed the water systems, increasing the danger of widespread illness. The ongoing civil war and the Saudi Arabian-led operation in Yemen against the Houthi movement, which started in March 2015, both contributed to the worsening of the cholera outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1,236,028 documented cases of cholera have been reported in Yemen overall since the outbreak started. The majority of the issue is being experienced by women and kids. They make up 79% of the population who have been internally displaced, and their situation is getting worse. Many people can no longer afford basic food, and they face increased risks of malnutrition, gender-based violence, exploitation, and early marriage due to high inflation and a lack of employment possibilities. 1.3 million pregnant or nursing women need treatment for acute malnutrition, and malnutrition rates among children and women in Yemen continue to be among the highest in the world. Due to the violence, Yemeni children continue to die and suffer injuries, and they are also dropping dead at alarmingly high rates from preventable illnesses and hunger.
THE INTERNATIONAL AID RESPONSES TO YEMEN CRISIS
The world's biggest humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, is occurring in Yemen. In helping victims, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees is essential. About 23.4 million Yemenis, or 73% of the population, rely on humanitarian aid to survive after seven years of destructive and persistent conflict, including 4.3 million internally displaced people (IDPs).
The World Food Programme's (WFP) goal is to provide life-saving aid in times of need and to encourage resilient, sustainable livelihoods in order to create a world without hunger. The 14 million people who are at risk of hunger are given tons of food and other supplies by WFP each month. The world's highest rate of child malnutrition exists, and the nutrition situation is getting worse. Yemen continues to have some of the worst rates of acute malnutrition in the world, affecting 2.2 million children under the age of five and 1.3 million pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. In order to sustain vital and life-saving health facilities and services across the nation and to serve the most vulnerable populations, the World Health Organization (WHO) plays a key role in providing guidance and support to Yemeni health authorities, partners, and community health workers. In order to ensure that Yemen's population continues to have access to the majority of basic health services, WHO continues to prioritize facilitating humanitarian access and delivering life-saving medical equipment, necessary pharmaceuticals, supplies, and other assistance and services.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is on the ground to save children's lives, aid them in coping with the effects of conflict, aid in their recovery, and help them resume their childhoods. Additionally, UNICEF has given cholera vaccines to more than 300,000 individuals. By providing vital therapeutic food and medical supplies, UNICEF aids in the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in children. UNICEF has provided frontline workers with critical personal protective equipment, administered COVID vaccinations via the COVAX Facility, and kept up its risk communication and community engagement initiatives as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, 250,000 girls and women have received sexual and reproductive health services from UNFPA. The UNFPA has created safe spaces and shelters for women and girls that offer psychological first aid, legal advice, awareness of COVID-19 prevention, medical help, dignity kits, livelihood training, and secure housing in addition to providing life-saving reproductive health products and services.
In conclusion, Yemen is currently dealing with one of the most catastrophic humanitarian catastrophes in recorded history. The UN and other rescue organizations are crucial in this crisis. With the help of international aid, famine can be avoided by enhancing social protection, nutrition, education, and livelihood resilience mechanisms. However, in April 2022, Yemen's new ruling council assisted in the consolidation of anti-Houthi forces, which could pave the way for open negotiations.