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Yemen crisis: millions facing famine

17 October 2018

The UN has warned that Yemen is facing potentially “the worst famine in the world in 100 years”.

A malnourished baby receives medical treatment at al Sabeen Maternal Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A malnourished baby receives medical treatment at al Sabeen Maternal Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

More than five million people are at immediate risk of starvation with the UN estimating that an additional 8 million are at risk in the short to medium term.

Lise Grande of the UN this week said: “We predict that we could be looking at 12 to 13 million innocent civilians who are at risk of dying from the lack of food.”

End the war

The crisis stems from the conflict between a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Houthi rebels. It has been made worse by food and trade routes being cut off.

An attack on passenger buses in Hudaydah last weekend was just the latest atrocity in an unacceptable pattern of attacks on civilian women, men and children. 

Repeated calls for measures that protect civilians from violence continue to be disregarded. 

Trócaire once again urges the countries supporting such attacks to rethink their contribution to a war that has a country on its knees. It is beyond time for a political resolution to end this war.

Trócaire response

Trócaire has been working with Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) to provide emergency water, sanitation and hygiene programmes.

Trócaire has provided €300,000 to respond to the crisis. This funding provides 1,500 families with safe drinking water and improved hygiene.

Access within Yemen is severely limited and the security situation is precarious. As such, Trócaire does not have a direct presence there, nor do any of our sister Caritas agencies. By partnering with Islamic Relief, we can still provide life-saving care to people in Yemen.

The world needs to act

Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra has called on the Irish government to “increase its diplomatic engagement to put pressure on all actors to restart the stalled peace process and find a political end to this conflict”.
 
“The world needs to act on Yemen,” she said. “All warring parties should call a ceasefire and allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid.
 
“This famine is a shocking example of an entirely human-made crisis. The three-year civil war between a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia, supported by the UK, the US and France, and Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, has led to this crisis, and it has been made worse by food and trade routes being cut off.”
 
Trócaire will continue to work with our partners, Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief Yemen, to get emergency relief to people in Yemen.

Donate now to Yemen