Yemen: Insufficient funding for World's largest humanitarian crisis
The West and its ally Saudi Arabia have created the world's worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen selling weapons and by indiscriminate bombing and shelling which has destroyed the country's infrastructures. Now relief efforts are hampered by insufficient funding. But hip hip hooray for the Saudis on allowing women behind the wheel.
The situation in Yemen, exarcerbated by intrusion by western powers selling weapons for Government forces to strafe civilians and by western allies such as Saudi Arabia, that great champion of human rights (cough) bombing and shelling indiscriminately, is rightly described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. There is one small detail the media forgets to report: there is insufficient funding. Yet they report that the Saudis have finally allowed women to drive, showing its representative at the UNO chortling in self-satisfaction and self-congratulation... so Hip! Hip! Hooray!
The statistics are shocking. For the last three years, since September 2014, warring factions in Yemen supported on one side by the Saudis (Sunni) and the other, the victims, defended by Iran (Shiite) with the West wading in on the side of the Saudis, their boss - have destroyed the country to breaking point. The victims as usual are civilians in general and children in particular. Over the last two years, from May 2015 until August 2017, the United Nations Organization has documented 5.144 civilians killed and 8.849 injured. Of these 1.184 children were killed and 1.592 were injured. But Hip! Hip! Hooray to the Saudis!
Since I wrote my last article on September 6, this month, the number of people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance (to survive) has risen from 18.8 million to 25 million and one child has died every ten seconds. That is 31,680 children, dead, in 16 days. Plus three more since you started reading this article, so 31.683 children. Dead.
The UNO accuses the Saudi-led coalition of being responsible for most of these killings, in numerical terms no less than 3,233 civilians, documented. The airstrikes have included funeral gatherings, fishing vessels, schools, hospitals, markets, residential areas and public and private property. Hey, the Saudis are allowing the chicks behind the wheel. Hip! Hip! Hooray!
"Operations were conducted heedless of their impact on civilians without regard to the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack" (UN Report, 2017). In one such attack on August 23 this year, a military aircraft strafed the Istirahat al-Shahab Hotel in Bayt al-Athri in Arhab district. The building was seriously damaged, 33 civilians were murdered and a further 25 injured. The culprit? "Coalition forces" led by Saudi Arabia. Such attacks are prohibited under international law.
This has been described as a man-made crisis by the UNHCR, since apart from the shelling and bombing ("collateral damage" in the words of some, except when someone does to them what they do to others), Yemen is facing the world's worst cholera outbreak with over 500.000 cases. But the USA has secured a one-hundred-billion-dollar arms deal, so let us all congratulate them and Saudi Arabia for allowing women to drive. Round of applause, ladies and gentlemen. Hip! Hip! Hooray!
Despite the extraordinary scale of the suffering linked to the brutal conflict, including the threat of famine and the world's worst cholera outbreak, Yemen does not receive the international attention it deserves (UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock)
Seventeen million people are on the brink of famine and what is the response? Insufficient funding. Perhaps the USA could donate all of its 100-billion-dollars made from selling weapons to the cause to help people? Or am I being stupid? Like how do you compare a hundred billion bucks with a few tens of thousands of kids? 31.686 to be precise.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.