According to the United Nations, the situation in Yemen is now the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Yemen has become the poorest country in the Arab region due to the high population growth, political issues, and food insecurity. Currently, 80% of the population is in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. Sanitation, clean water, education, and medical resources are extremely scarce, leaving the population in a state of famine and poverty. Ever since the Zaydi Shiite movement and the Houthis rebels’ government overthrow, the citizens of Yemen have been in a dire situation. Economically speaking, the Yemeni economy has lost 90 billion USD and 600, 000 people are left unemployed. 3 million people have lost their homes over the span of six years. The issue had escalated in March 2015 and has rapidly taken charge since then.
2 million children are currently suffering from acute malnutrition, and the World Food Programme believes that especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of it will only increase. Additionally, 4 million people have been affected by a severe cholera outbreak from the lack of clean, suitable drinking water, according to The New York Times. CNN reports that even a mosquito-transmitted virus, called the Chikungunya virus, has circulated and affected mass swabs of the population. Due to the lack of medical care and resources, the Coronavirus poses a massive threat to Yemeni citizens who are left rather vulnerable to disease outbreaks.
Only half of the health facilities in Yemen are intact, and many medical centers lack required supplies like masks and gloves, as well as essential supplies to combat coronavirus, per UNICEF. Only 20% of those infected are being granted medical care, and there is a lack of motivation for healthcare workers due to incredibly poor conditions. Public healthcare systems have collapsed, putting a strain on the health of the Yemeni population.
To aid this humanitarian crisis, the UN is providing food through the World Food Programme. They are also shipping medical equipment and are in the works of rehabilitating damaged education spaces. They have devised a humanitarian appeal in order to map out goals and collect funds for Yemen.