Emergency Resources Sought for Yemen Food Crisis, with 24 Million People in Need
Oct. 6, 2020 (EIRNS)—The UN General Assembly held a special session Sept. 23 focussed on Yemen and the food crisis. Lack of aid, supplies and price inflation combined have put 24.3 million people in desperation. Already last year, there were over 22 million people dependent on aid in the war-torn nation. The immediate cause is lack of resources, which have been cut drastically from last year. Of the UN’s 40 programs for food, water, vaccinations, medicines, and other humanitarian relief, 15 have been cut altogether, and others pared way back.
Today the international anti-poverty organization Oxfam International issued an emergency appeal. The Yemen Country Director Muhsin Siddiquey said,
“While the economic fallout unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every corner of the globe, in Yemen millions are on the brink of starvation. Yemenis cannot afford aid to be cut, people need more help to survive, not less.... The international community urgently needs to step up funding for Yemen as well as honoring the pledges already made so that people can get the lifesaving aid they need,”
Oxfam further reported the crisis is made worse by the depreciation of Yemen’s currency, which has “pushed up prices beyond the reach of millions.”
The World Food Program has been scrounging for help. On Sept. 17, Germany pledged an additional €450 million to the World Food Program. On Sept. 18 a donation of $204 million to Yemen for humanitarian aid was announced by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center. Last year, Saudi Arabia gave $1 billion for Yemen aid; this year, the level dropped to $500 million before the latest pledge.