Syria and Yemen Demonstrate the Twin Horrors Brought On by War and Sanctions
June 25, 2020 (EIRNS)—If there were any two exhibits to show why the regime of permanent warfare and accompanying sanctions must be brought to an end, they are Syria and Yemen. UN officials, humanitarian and economic experts have been warning that both countries are on the edge of utter disaster due to the wars and sanctions against both countries. Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche has repeatedly insisted that all sanctions against nations must be immediately lifted, because under the current pandemic conditions they lead to genocide.
In Syria, Joseph Daher, who teaches at Lausanne University in Switzerland and is a part-time affiliate professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, where he works on the Wartime and Post-Conflict in Syria Project, told the Carnegie Middle East Center’s Diwan blog yesterday that the Caesar Act and general sanctions “could—and probably will—contribute to intensifying socioeconomic problems in Syria. They could lead to the deepening impoverishment of some sections of the population and represent a further obstacle to economic recovery.”
Daher doesn’t deviate from the official narrative that Assad and “his cronies” are mostly responsible for the collapse of the Syrian economy, but he does acknowledge that sanctions are worsening economic conditions in the country. He notes that sanctions targeting any entity working on supporting the production or import of oil and gas in Syria “will create even greater shortages of these resources and increase their price. This will have dire consequences for ordinary Syrians as well as increase production costs for manufacturing and agriculture, both highly dependent on oil and gas.”
Regarding Yemen, UN humanitarian coordinator Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council on June 24 that Yemen will “fall of a cliff” if humanitarian aid is not massively stepped up. Lowcock reported, among other things, that the $1.35 billion pledged at a Saudi-sponsored donors conference earlier this month was only about half of what was promised last year and far less than what is needed. He warned that as a result, incentive pay for 10,000 aid workers will be cut. “Water and sanitation programs that serve 4 million people will start closing in several weeks,” he said. “About 5 million children will go without routine vaccinations, and by August, we will close down malnutrition programs. The wider health program, which 19 million people benefit from, will stop too.” Lowcock further warned that Yemen’s economy “is heading for an unprecedented calamity, due to the lack of fuel deliveries since June 8 and the collapse of the Yemeni rial which has caused a 10-20% rise on food prices in the last two weeks alone.” Lowcock stated that the coronavirus pandemic is adding another misery for Yemenis already brought on by famine and the failure of the economy. “So, my last point, there is a stark choice before the world today: Support the humanitarian response in Yemen and help to create the space for a sustainable political solution, or watch Yemen fall off the cliff,” he declared.
What Lowcock did not mention, but further adding to the misery in Yemen is the arrival of swarms of desert locusts. The Herald of Nigeria reported that a swarm of billions of locusts arrived in the capital Sana’a on June 24, invading crops and leaving farmers of the war-torn Arab country in despair. According to local residents and farmers, earlier this month, the desert locusts invaded several other Yemeni provinces.