As countries grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and political upheavals caused by Black Lives Matter, it is regrettable that the country facing the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world”, as per the United Nations, has been forgotten, with the world turning a blind eye to it.
According to a multitude of UN agencies such as WFP, UNOCHA and UNICEF: the war in Yemen has left 24 million, more than two-third of the population, dependent on aid; 18 million people need water, sanitation and hygiene; more than 20 million people are food insecure; 137,000 cases of cholera and diarrhoea have been recorded, with nearly a quarter occurring in children under 5.
The list doesn’t stop there.
Over 100,000 people, more than 12,000 of them civilians, have been killed; this death toll does not include deaths caused by famine and hunger. Between 2015 and 2018, it was estimated by Save The Children that 85,000 children under the age of 5 may have died of hunger and disease.
If UN fundraising goals are not met, then 30 of the 41 UN-supported programs will be shut down in July, leaving 4 million people, half of them children, without access to clean water.
The Black Lives Movement and the massacre of Yemen are both important, but voices have only been raised for the former. Why? Because South Asian communities alone are more vocal about Western causes and often remain silent on atrocities being carried out in the Middle East. The attention directed at Yemen is extremely disproportionate compared to not just the BLM movement, but in comparison to every other movement or problem in the West.
Yemen isn’t only fighting a war with the pandemic, it is teetering on the edge of a collapse compounded by the world’s collective silence and neglect.