Fellow MUNTurkey.com readers, through this article, I aim to raise awareness about a highly important and serious crisis on earth: the situation in Yemen. I hope my content could be beneficial and a remarkable tool for enlightening you upon the issue.
The situation in Yemen is one of the most significant problems of our world since Yemen is both struggling with armed conflict and the largest humanitarian crisis on the planet as the United Nations says. The country has been devastated by the civil war for five years now. Moreover, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Yemen is now facing a crisis within another crisis. Even though the situation worsens, the international community is still failing to handle the conflict.
The roots of the humanitarian crisis go to a civil war caused by the failure of the political transition of the country which was actually supposed to bring stability to Yemen. With the influence of the Arab Spring all over the Middle East, Yemeni people also wanted a change in the administration of their country. The longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was forced to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi in 2011. On the other hand, this change led to worse problems in Yemen as Mr. Hadi was not quite successful with handling problems such as attacks by jihadists, high unemployment rates, food insecurity, corruption, a separatist movement in the South and the ongoing loyalty of some people for the previous president.
The Houthi movement which upholds the Zaidi Shia Muslim minority in Yemen is fighting against the new government and president Mr. Hadi. Even though the Houthis took part in uprisings against Saleh before, the Houthis and Saleh allies took over the capital Sanaa in 2014. Following this event, Mr. Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia which is the biggest supporter of the new president.
Saudi Arabia formed a coalition with several other countries to return Hadi to power again. The Saudi-led intervention constituted a campaign of merciless airstrikes involving more than 19.000 attacks. The airstrikes were targeting the enemy according to the Saudi-led coalition but other groups accuse the coalition of killing thousands of Yemeni civilians by bombing hospitals, schools, etc. which led to the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. The Saudi-led coalition even created a land, sea, and air barrier around Yemen which blocked any aid to get in or out. Also, Houthis are accused of taking and destroying aid which civilians desperately need.
After fighting together against the coalition for 3 years, Saleh and the Houthi alliance ended when Saleh announced that he wanted to talk to the coalition, which led to his death. Two days after his announcement the Houthis killed him.
As the Houthis seem to have an upper hand in the war, Saudi Arabia thinks it’s because they get help from Iran. Iran as the biggest Shia power in the region openly supported the Houthis but denies helping them militarily.
Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis in the world with 24 million people, constituting 80 percent of the country, in need of humanitarian assistance. Yemeni civilians are tackling with lack of basic humanitarian needs, torture, sexual violence during detention, displacement, unlawful killings, and many more.
In 2017, The World Food Programme (WFP) has classified seven of Yemen’s 22 provinces as being at “emergency” level – one step below famine on the five-point Integrated Food Security Phase Classification scale. Ten provinces are at the “crisis” level. These numbers and classification levels of course peaked in 3 years and the current situation is much worse.
The futures of lots of children have been stolen from them during the conflict. More than 12 million children are growing in poor conditions, lacking not just education but also vital needs such as; health-care, food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, and more. Children under 18 have even been used as soldiers by all parties of the war.
In July, the UN secretary-general released his annual “list of shame” for violations against children in armed conflict during 2018. The list detailed that 729 children were killed or injured by the Saudi-led coalition, 398 children were killed or injured by the Houthis, and the Yemeni government forces were responsible for 58 child casualties.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Now, we are aware of the situation in Yemen. So what can we do to help people living in such devastating conditions? Probably the best assistance we can do from where we are is donating. Organizations such as UNICEF, UNHCR, and ICRC(International Committee of the Red Cross) are some of the institutions that are helping Yemen. You can donate to these organizations or other non-governmental organizations.
You can make a donation to UNICEF via the link below;
You can make a donation to UNHCR via the link below:
You can make a donation to ICRC via the link below:
Deputy Team Leader of Content Producer Team