Executive Intelligence Review


Famine Has Already Come to Yemen

Oct. 10, 2018 (EIRNS)—MintPress News published a report on Oct. 5 refuting the notion that millions of Yemenis are on the “verge” of starvation: They are already there.

“For almost three years, the expression ‘on the brink of famine’ has been repeatedly cited by relief agencies to describe one side of the humanitarian disaster in Yemen,”

Yemeni journalist Ahmed Abdulkareem writes at the outset.

“It is an expression that has never been revised, even as it became increasingly inaccurate as the Saudi-led coalition tightened its blockade and ignored the pleas of governments and human rights organizations. Now famine is well entrenched in Yemen and the expression ‘on the verge of starvation’ has become obsolete.”

In other words, famine is already a fact of life in many parts of the country. Ebrahim al-Ashwal, the manager of Health Office in Hajjah province, told Abdulkareem that there were 17,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition in the first six months of 2018, higher than any month on record. A large percentage of these cases are children. The Ministry of Health, based in Sana’a, said in a statement to MintPress:

“Now, more than 2 million children have suffered from famine; one out of three children under the age of five in Yemen are already malnourished. There are eight out of nine children with anemia, and there are between one and two hundred girls or women of childbearing age who are malnourished.”

Abdulkareem makes no bones about who is responsible:

“The siege-and-starvation tactics employed by the Saudi coalition with the support of the United States have even pushed people to eat stray animals or their own pets to survive,”

he reports.

“The U.S.-backed and Saudi-led war has doubled the price of basic goods, including food and fuel like cooking gas, but it is the loss of millions of jobs that has pushed thousands of people to starvation and turned Yemen, where drought rarely occurred, into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,”

Abdulkareem writes later.

“Moreover, the coalition has used systematic economic strangulation as a weapon of war—targeting jobs, infrastructure, the agricultural sector and pumping stations, factories, and the provision of basic services.”

Abdulkareem particularly zeros in on the Saudi-U.A.E. assault on Hodeidah, the port through which 70% of Yemen’s food supply flows into the country.

Abdulkareem also mocks the $200 million that the Saudis have pledged to shore up the Yemen central bank, after spending an estimated $100 million to pulverize the country with precision munitions. “But Yemenis say the need is not for such tokens, but to stop the war, lift the siege, and resume the export of oil and gas,” he writes.