Yemen Crisis: Children in need
“Out of sight, out of mind.” Humans have this tendency to forget or simply not care about things that are not right in front of them where they can physically see or feel them. However, this disposition creates an unprogressive society in which we cannot see beyond our own bubble. Most do not think twice about anything happening on the other side of the globe but this is exactly what the people of Yemen need us to do. The Yemen Civil War Humanitarian Crisis has been ongoing for 7 years. With more than 80 percent of the population including 12 million children in need of humanitarian assistance, there isn’t a better time to act than now.
So what exactly is going on?
The conflict stemmed from the failed political transition in 2011 which was supposed to bring stability to Yemen after the Arab Spring uprising that forced Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s longtime authoritarian president, to resign and give his power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
As president, Mr. Hadi was faced with several tall tasks, including the “attacks by jihadists, a separatist movement in the south, the continuing loyalty of security personnel to Saleh, as well as corruption, unemployment, and food insecurity.”
The Houthi movement, which defends Yemen's Zaidi Shia Muslim minority, took advantage of the new president's weakness by taking control of their northern heartland of the Saada province and neighboring areas. Many civilian Yemenis, disappointed by the situation regarding the transition of power, supported the Houthi movement; by late 2014 and early 2015, the rebels eventually took over the capital in alliance with Yemen's former president.
In Southern Yemen, the two conflicting sides were the Saudi-supported Yemeni government led by Mr. Hadi and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC). The UAE carried out airstrikes across the country in support of the clashes that occurred between the Yemeni government and STC forces in August 2019. Civilians, caught up in the middle of this armed crisis, suffered from a lack of basic necessities, a spiraling economic crisis, power abusive security forces, and a disarranged government, etc . . .
Children, the true face of innocence, continue to be killed and suffer the consequences of a war in which they had no part. They are victims of their birthplace at this time in which health services and basic education are in a disarray and hopes for a bright future are halted, even crushed. According to a UNICEF study, “nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, and of these, “400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.” As the long years go by, the situation remains grim and 2020 only brought upon yet another disaster, the novel Coronavirus, which only exacerbated the situation.
From halfway across the world, I write about this to bring awareness to the largest man-made humanitarian crisis in hopes that we can do more for these children in Yemen. Since there is no way to physically reach out our hands to these children, we can instead do so monetarily. Save the children is one of the largest aid organizations focused on getting vital supplies to victims in Yemen. So far, they have supported a total of 98,127 parents to provide for children’s basic needs as well as protected 55,608 from harm. They are dedicated to supporting health facilities as well as treating children under the age of five suffering from malnutrition. Provided is the link to donate to them: https://support.savethechildren.org/site/Donation2?df_id=2521&2521.donation=form1
UNICEF is another organization devoted to helping Yemenis in need, with similar goals as Save the Children. You can donate to them via https://www.unicefusa.org/
Although it’s hard to picture a Yemeni child’s life turning around thanks to your donation, it would do exactly that.
In the end, there is no way to put a real stop to what is happening at Yemen as most of it is rooted in conflict. Really, the only solution would be to stop the war. However, raising awareness and donating if possible shows our support and that these victims are not forgotten.