Yemen Humanitarian Crisis

The situation in Yemen is not an unknown one. Since 2015, a civil war has been ongoing in the country which has contributed to widespread famine, malnutrition and disease. Since 2016, they have struggled with almost 2.2 million cases of Cholera, the largest outbreak ever recorded. This combination of war, disease and hunger has led to Yemen facing what many call the worst humanitarian crisis. More than 3.65 million people have been displaced from their homes. It is now estimated around 80% of the population need humanitarian assistance and protection. Now Covid-19 has struck, making the situation ever more dire, and causing global calls for more aid to Yemen, which is in no position to be able to deal with this pandemic.

The civil war in Yemen was sparked by the failure of a political transition in 2011 from the country’s longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. It was hoped that this change would bring stability to Yemen but Hadi was unable to deal with various issues in the region such as unemployment, corruption, jihadists attacks and more. This was taken advantage of by the Houthi movement, which champions Yemen’s Zaidi Shia Muslim minority, by taking control of their northern heartland of Saada province and neighbouring areas. Many ordinary Yeminis supported the Houthi movement due the failure of Hadi to stabilise the country. Since then there has been near-constant conflict between the state security forces and the Houthi forces.

Within this civil war and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, the human rights of the Yemeni people are being threatened. Conditions in official prisons and detention centers in Yemen are appalling. Overcrowding is a major issue in these centers. especially now with the Covid-19 pandemic. A report from Human Rights Watch said detainees at Aden’s informal detention facility are not allowed masks, gloves, or sanitizers as well as basic health care services, exposing them to serious health risks during the current pandemic. There has been deepening concern over a recent report, shared by a Mwatana, a Yemeni Human rights group, exposing that extrajudicial detentions and killings have increased massively during the five-year-long conflict. In addition, Women activists in Yemen are facing abuse, disappearing, and being tortured and killed. In this dire situation, is it important the Yemeni people are not forgotten.

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