Yemen Food Crisis Reaching ‘Catastrophic Proportions’
By Sam Jones, The Guardian – “Yemen is facing a food crisis of ‘catastrophic proportions’, with almost half the population going hungry and a third of children in some areas severely malnourished, aid agencies have warned.
A coalition of seven humanitarian organisations – Care International, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief, Mercy Corps, Merlin, Oxfam and Save the Children – is urging the international community to step up aid before Yemen slides further into poverty and political instability.
The Middle Eastern country’s already precarious state was highlighted on Monday when a suicide bomber attacked a military parade, killing more than 90 people and wounding at least 220. The bombing, one of the deadliest in recent years, was a setback in Yemen’s battle against al-Qaida-affiliated Islamists and has heightened concerns over a country in the frontline of the US global war on militants.
The aid agencies – which point out that the UN’s humanitarian appeal has received only 43% of the funding it needs – are urging delegates at Wednesday’s international Friends of Yemen conference to do more to tackle the food crisis.
The agencies say hunger in Yemen has doubled since 2009 and was exacerbated by last year’s political upheaval, which saw the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh ousted from power after 33 years and replaced by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Penny Lawrence, Oxfam’s international director, said that although donors were concentrating on politics and security, they had to focus on more basic and pressing issues. ‘Yemeni families are at the brink and have exhausted their ways of coping with the crisis,’ she said.” Read more.