SANA, Yemen – “More than 25 percent of children (1.8 million) are malnourished; 900,000 people in the governorate are desperate for food and 90,000 pregnant women are at enormous risk. Families need everything–food, cash, health care, water, sanitation, emergency supplies, specialized support, and many need shelter. It’s heart-breaking to see so many people who need so much.”
Those are the observations of Lisa Grande, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen as she described dramatically deteriorating conditions over the past several days as its three-year-long civil strife continues.
The war in Yemen has “unleashed the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis” according to a recent report by Reuters.
A representative of UNICEF said, “The situation of the families without jobs, without income, and in the middle of the war is catastrophic.”
On Friday, September 14th, a mortar shell of uncertain origin destroyed a warehouse operated by the World Food Program (WFP) in the port city of Hudayada. That warehouse contained enough food to feed over 19,000 people.
Several weeks ago, shellfire obliterated a clearly-identified WFP truck loaded with 30 tons of food. That was enough food to feed 2,000 people for an entire month.
WFP officials are asking UN officials to hold attacking parties accountable for the attacks on their facilities.
They are also concerned about conflict currently taking place near the Red Sea Mill Silos. The silos are critical for the WFP’s operations. A WFP spokesperson said that destruction of the silos in Hudayada would include enough food product held on site to feed 3.5 million people for a month.
Hudayada is the critical port for the influx of humanitarian aid for the impoverished, displaced, and traumatized families in Yemen. Its location is, unfortunately, considered strategic for the factions seeking control of the country.
Grande emphasized that “hundreds of thousands of lives hang in the balance.”
Pray for these innocents caught in the conflict. Pray that humanitarian aid will not be deterred, delayed, or destroyed.
- Relief Web, Yemen: mortar attack on UN food silo ‘could affect vital aid deliveries to millions’
- Wikipedia, Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
- Reuters, Yemen war a ‘living hell’ for children: UNICEF
- By yeowatzup (Flicker) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons