SANAA, Feb. 6 (Saba) -This punishing proxy war in the region's poorest nation has ground on, dragging Yemen to the brink of collapse.
"The people of Yemen have suffered quite enough"
Despite more than three years of war, Yemen, the scene of the world's largest humanitarian crisis, still struggles for its fair share of the world's attention.
Since March 2015, the Saudi-UAE military alliance has carried out more than 16,000 air raids, almost one-third of which have struck non-military sites.
The naval blockade enforced by the Saudi coalition and airstrike damage to Yemen’s airports and other infrastructure are serious impediments to the delivery of humanitarian aid and exacerbated serious fuel shortages.
Multiple attempts to implement ceasefires to allow delivery of fuel, medical supplies, and food by international organizations have been unsuccessful, and delivery of humanitarian aid to those most in need has been difficult and sporadic.
This was one of the poorest nations on earth to begin with and now it’s turned into a charnel house, civilian casualties are staggering, the greatest number of them from Saudi airstrikes. There are millions of refugees both inside Yemen and fleeing the country, many of them to Somalia, which seems at this point to be a better bet for survival.
Saudi-led coalition air strikes were the leading cause of overall civilian casualties, according to the UN Human Rights Council, civilians have repeatedly been the victims of "unrelenting violations of international humanitarian law."
About 75 percent of the population—22.2 million people—are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million people in acute need who urgently require immediate assistance to survive—an increase of 1 million since June 2017.
With only half of the country's 3,500 health facilities fully functioning, at least 16.4 million people are lacking basic healthcare.
War has had a devastating effect on Yemen’s people and its infrastructure, many civilians have been killed in the fighting and parts of the country stand on the brink of famine.
12,000 of 14,400 schools in Yemen have been shut down and teachers’ salaries have not been paid , Around 2600 schools were destroyed by the Saudi-led coalition.
Health, water and sanitation systems have been bombed to the point of collapse leaving over 15 million people without adequate access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation.
Waste is piling up on the streets and in the settlements of displaced people because sanitation services, severely damaged by war.
These attacks have targeted weddings and hospitals, as well as water and electricity plants, killing and wounding thousands.
According to the UN, at least 10,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict. However, analysts say the number hasn't been updated in years and the death toll is likely to be much higher.
The Yemeni rial has lost nearly two-thirds of its value against the US dollar since 2015.
While the official exchange rate is 250 Yemeni riyals to the dollar, the unofficial market rate is in excess of 600.
Soaring prices have put some basic commodities out of reach for many Yemenis and the central bank has struggled to pay public sector salaries on which many depend as foreign exchange reserves dwindle.
The UN says the conflict poses a grave risk to the war-battered population and has described the situation as "looking like the apocalypse."
According to UNICEF, more than 22 million Yemenis, 78 percent of the population, need humanitarian assistance every day.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.8 million under the age of five children suffer from acute malnutrition, including 500,000 children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
In Yemen, the situation does not improve for young children (aged between two and five years) where only 11 percent consumed vitamin A rich foods and 33 percent ate animal based proteins.
Eighteen percent of children born to undernourished mothers suffered from acute malnutrition compared to twelve percent in healthy mothers.
Chronic malnutrition was also higher among children with undernourished mothers, with 54% stunted compared to 45%.
The ongoing war is hitting the Yemeni economy, society the poor hard.
There are sharp declines in oil exports, foreign aid, and tourism plus double digit inflation.
Since the start of the war, the unemployment rate has shot above 50 percent, with nearly 50 percent of the population (PDF) now loving on less than two dollars a day.
According to the World Bank, the war and its economic effect are driving the largest food security emergency in the world.
There has been a significant drop in food imports which had forced most Yemenis to rely on humanitarian aid to survive.
The number of food-insecure people living in rural areas (37.3 percent), is more than five times higher than in urban areas (17.7 percent) .
Results also show that 57.9% of all children Conclusion suffer from under nourishment and poor health, such high prevalence of child malnutrition has a serious consequence for the future development of Yemen's society and economy.
Almost one-third of Yemenis or 7.5 million people do not have enough food to satisfy their needs, in an international context, this puts Yemen among the 10 most food insecure countries in the world.
In a short run, there is a need for a global and regional action and, rather, by an internal check to monitor the UN actions in Yemen and to help people who are suffering from the famine.
There is a need for an effective follow up by the international donors, evidence-based decision making and appropriate monitoring and evaluation in all the actors involved to make Yemen's food security reality.
They must stop selling the heavy weapons to the untrusted States, which have no respect to the basic human rights, the international community must force all the internal conflicting factions in Yemen and all their regional and international supporters to enter direct negotiations.
The political solution is the only solution to resolve the Yemeni crisis and to avoid the worst humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century in Yemen.
Written by Mona Zaid