Yemen Struggling with Continuing Crisis while...
As we face an unprecedented global hunger crisis, concerns for the 16.2 million people who have long been food insecure in Yemen are at an all-time high. While the crisis in Yemen is one of the most dire, brought on by protracted conflict, droughts, and floods intensified by the climate crisis, COVID-19, and other diseases, it has failed to attract adequate support from donors for years. Now it risks slipping further into oblivion.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, at 74th World Assembly and OMEP International Conference underlined that more than 10,200 Yemeni children have been killed or maimed since the beginning of the conflict, and thousands more have been recruited into the fighting.
Also, UNICEF reported that every 10 minutes one child under age 5 dies from causes like malnutrition and preventable diseases.
According to International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies latest report, 23.4 million of Yemeni people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2022, 12.9 million of whom were estimated to be in acute need, 19 million are food insecure, 17.8 million lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation services, an estimated 21.9 million lack access to basic healthcare and an estimated 4.3 million have fled their homes since the start of the conflict.
On the other hand, the terrors of war, a global pandemic, economic downfall, and a crumbling healthcare infrastructure, are a culmination of the challenges faced by the young Yemeni children. Children make up nearly half of Yemen’s population and their developmental state leaves them more vulnerable to mental illness. Prevailing mental illnesses in children in Yemen include anxiety, depression, trauma, and schizophrenia. Children face difficulty in attaining psychosocial support as mental health is not incorporated into the primary health care system and a negative stigma surrounds mental illness.
In addition, little action has been taken by the global community to help alleviate the mental health crisis in Yemen. Almost no official protocol or standardized guidance for mental health diagnosis exists.
In another development, UN Special Envoy, Hans Grundberg in his latest statements said: “The historic UN-brokered truce in Yemen has largely held for nearly four months and the Yemeni people and the international community want and expect the truce to be fully implemented, renewed and strengthened”. He also urged the Government and Ansar Allah to work towards renewing the “transformational agreement”, which expires on 2 August.
While surprisingly, according to the recent report of Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation, the UN response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been branded "unacceptably poor".
Findings released by OCHA Agency provide a damning assessment on the UN's work in Yemen since 2015, citing a severe lack of appropriate equipment and failure to provide proper infrastructure for displaced Yemenis (IDPs), including a lack of toilets, half-constructed roads and faulty agricultural equipment.
Although the report acknowledged that the UN's humanitarian response had managed to reduce malnutrition and boost food security, overall the $16bn mobilized by UN agencies had been inadequately used to alleviate what has been described as the world's worst humanitarian disaster.