Written by Navya Jaiswal
Yemen has been brought to the edge of collapse with close to 18.5 million people facing food insecurity while an estimated 80% of the domestic population is in dire humanitarian need.
The citizens of Yemen are caught in the crossfire of a proxy war that involves much more than exchange of bullets. Continued bombing of soft targets and vital infrastructure, increasingly atrocious mortality rates across population demographics, denial of basic human rights to citizens, and the breakdown of basic social services have brought Yemen to the edge of collapse.
As United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated, “The war in Yemen is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22 million people—three quarters of the population is desperately in need of aid protection.
In the case of Yemen, the approximate USD $ 2 billion gap in funding could be met by the combined resources of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to reports. The success of reliable response to any humanitarian crisis depends greatly on humanitarian workers having autonomous access to victims for assistance. In the case of Yemen, the humanitarian access to aid shipment for transportation and distribution is denied, caused mainly by the brutal air, land and sea blockade imposed by the Saudi Arabia led coalition. Ironically, the perpetual indiscriminate and vicious bombing of the attacked civilian populations by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only ensures that citizens who escape famine and starvation meet their ends in the bombing raids, as made validated by the testimonial documentaries established by Reuters.
The decision to break this stalemate lies mostly in the hands of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. But, the cooperation of the Houthi Leadership to observe and comply with a cessation of hostilities is as important in opening up humanitarian access, simultaneously. The world largely views the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the deliberate use of denial of food by the parties in conflict to break the back of their respective antagonists and win the war by proxy.
The weaponization of pertinent resources, like food, in a vicious war strategy; this method unnecessarily involves innocent civilians in conflict and degrades the value of human life to an unethical level.
The suspension of American arms sales to Saudi Arabia has been applauded as a significant step towards the end of violence. As this pressure mounts, and steps are taken towards negotiations for reconciliation and the peaceful resolution of the Yemen crisis, it is necessary to begin thinking of adaptable strategies for a peace agreement.
With a questionable government, decimated population, lack of resources, and low resilience due to crisis fatigue, it is going to take an immense amount of time, resources, and international cooperation.