Yemen: A tale of human suffering

It is the poorest country in the Middle East facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world
Yemen: A tale of human suffering
Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations. Eighty percent of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance or protection. File: Flickr [Creative Commons]


Imagine living in a country where even the COVID-19 pandemic is the least of its problems! Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and has the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Besides poverty, the country also faces various other problems like war, terrorism, unemployment, corruption and a major ecological crisis. My sole purpose behind choosing to write about this topic is just to make people more aware about the depressing conditions of the people of Yemen.

It is unfortunate that there is barely any media coverage on the topic, leaving a common man completely ignorant to the ongoing situations of the rest of the world.

In order to understand the current situation of Yemen and how things took such a belligerent turn, we need to rewind and try to understand its past.

The Arab Spring was a rebellious movement against the negligent former President of the country, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Eventually, Saudi Arabia and a few other countries collectively called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) intervened and negotiated to dismiss Saleh from his post.

The GCC then put Vice President Mansur Hadi in charge, thus giving rise to corruption. The Houthi militants backed by Iran and Saudi Arabia have also created a life threatening atmosphere in the country.

The Houthis are a Shia Muslim minority community that rebelled against the marginalisation faced by them. They tried to violently attack Hadi multiple times, which resulted in him fleeing the country and seeking refuge in Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis then took control of the capital of the country. Besides Saudi Arabia, the USA, UK, and UAE have also been collectively bombing the country.

Now the question that one can’t help but ponder over is why would such powerful countries want to create problems for a poor country with pre-existing internal conflicts like Yemen.

The main objective of Saudi Arabia was to protect its own southern borders and to contain the growing influence of Iran over the region. The other countries, being its allies, supported Saudi Arabia.

Besides war and conflict, Yemen faces several other problems and is heavily dependent on aid for basic human survival. The country has been unable to fend off threats from Al Qaeda and other militant groups like the Houthis, thus giving rise to terrorism.

Due to multiple air strikes over the past few years that caused mass destruction of the infrastructure, there has been internal displacement of people. The country also faces a major ecological crisis: there’s a cholera outbreak in the country which has caused millions to die.

The water is contained and the country is on the brink of starvation. While the situation could get better with the help of aid, Saudi Arabia has blocked all ports leaving the Yemenis to starve to death. The COVID-19 Pandemic has only worsened the situation as there is inadequate healthcare facilities and no sanitation.

Due to the aforementioned reasons, Yemen undoubtedly faces the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The question that we now need to focus on us how to alleviate their problems and make things better for the country.

Most people believe that diplomacy and negotiations can be opted to solve the political problems. The common man can sign petitions and donate to help.

Currently, the UNICEF is doing everything in its power to help the children of Yemen. It’s important to rescue the people from such disastrous conditions and the people who’re responsible for this must be held accountable.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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