The history holds proof that war disrupts millions of lives and children are affected the worse of all. The Yemen war is one such example. The people of Yemen are suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Famine is taking the lives of infants and children.
The conflict started in 2015 between the Houthi rebels backed by Iran and the Yemeni government who is backed by 10 nation coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arabic Emirates. Since then it has taken a toll on civilians.
Due to a blockade by the Saudi government, prices of food has skyrocketed. Civilians are unable to afford food on their own. Two-thirds of the Yemeni population is completely reliant on food aid to survive.
“Today it is fair to say that Yemen is one of the worst places on earth to be a child,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Two million children today in Yemen suffer acute malnutrition (and) almost every single Yemeni boy and girl” is in acute need of humanitarian assistance, he told a press conference in Jordan’s capital Amman.
“Today we estimate that every 10 minutes a child in Yemen is dying from preventable diseases.”
This food is not enough as many children are dying due to starvation. Hospitals in the capital city of Sabaa, are filled with malnourished children that need emergency treatment. Too weak to swallow, some babies are fed through feeding tubes that go through the nose directly into the stomach.
After being fed, some of them appear to feel a bit better, crawling over to play with other emaciated children in the clinic, tubes still taped to their faces.
“Life’s become really very difficult … but we do our best, given the circumstances,” said Umm Tarek, as her nine-month-old baby underwent treated for malnutrition.
“We’re not from here, so we rent an old, old house for 10,000 riyals (US$40) in Hiziaz,” south of Sanaa, she told AFP.
“Then my baby got sick because we used to give him formula, but now we can’t afford both the house and powdered milk anymore.”
The United Nations recently reported that 14 million Yemenis are at a serious risk of famine, as the war continues to rage on. The UN also called for a humanitarian ceasefire around facilities that distribute food aid, but that went in the air as no side agreed on that.
The population of Sanaa lives in fear. The capital city is under the control of Houthi rebels who overthrew the president’s rule in 2015. The president flew to Saudi Arabia and coalition supported by Saudi Arabia responded by throwing bombs in the city of Sanaa.
Still, the war doesn’t show any sign of conclusion. The rebels and militia have turned a blind eye to the suffering of children and people of Yemen. The quest for power is still on and the casualties are uncountable.
Featured Image – The Week