How does society view the "World's Largest Humanitarian Crisis?"
February 22, 2022 by Jana Mohamed
On a moderate trip to New York City, I encountered a small protest, a right of assembly, a moment of silence in Union Square devoted to the Yemenis who have suffered under their humanitarian emergency. Unlike other marches and vigils I've attended, this one was personal, more intimate, and private. The Yemen Humanitarian Crisis has been an ongoing urgency since perpetually unwinding famines, poverty, involuntary migration, and fragile economy, earning its title as the "World's largest Humanitarian Crisis." I walk deliberately, attempting to read all the phrases and sayings on signs and posters held up by wood bars, carried by individuals deemed affected by a concern influencing society. They make out "Yemen can't wait," "#Save Yemen," and "Yemen needs you." I stand behind the circle of silence, reflecting on civic dilemmas, accepting the truth that even the most prolonged and damaged humanitarian crisis is barely the leading topic of discussion in academic environments, social media, and political agendas. I sit on a curb silently, facing the protest circle, watching people walk by, not even offering a side-eye to uncover what their intentions of standing in solidarity are about. Though, what does the world know about the crisis in Yemen? Are they aware? How has the US assisted Yemen? It's the topic swept under the rug and concealed by the media. The conflict escalated drastically in 2015 due to political transitions in 2011 that alleviated critical issues and challenged the population with no access to clean water, sanitation, overpopulation, and poverty. Eventually, war and violence followed. The process of power and political instability inquired about the overall safety of the Yemeni citizens. "Where has this grave civil and political unrest left Yemen's 28.5 million citizens?" Referenced from The Daily Pennsylvania, since 2015, the death toll passed a bitter 100,000 citizens alongside 3,000,000 displaced communities. 14.3 million victims require medical assistance due to pre-famine and "Acute vulnerabilities," and environmental factors have worsened the conditions and essential resources in the country, like the constant floods in March of 2020 that affected over 100,000 habitants. The floods led to a rise in poverty and homelessness epidemics and a cholera outbreak that has since infected over 2.5 million people. The future of Yemen is erratic and fluctuating. Yemeni citizens are hanging on a single thread. The women are at risk, with "63% of all assaults targeted at women" (McCowan). The critically malnourished population is on the brink of "What could be the world's worst famine in over 100 years" (UN). How have other countries and organizations resourced Yemen? According to the United Nations Foundation, since 2015, the UN has:
Distributed 100,000 metric tons of food commodities each month through the UN's World Food Programme, which has reached more than 8 million Yemenis.
Provided reproductive and sexual health services to over 250,000 females through the UN Population Fund.
Supplied cholera vaccines to more than 300,000 people through the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
Worked particularly closely with the government and humanitarian members to improve coordination.
What have other countries accomplished in assisting Yemen? According to the US Department of State, the US has provided over $800 million in assistance to the humanitarian crisis since 2021 and $4 million to alleviate the suffering since the escalation of the situation in 2015. The US Agency for International Development plays the lead role in supporting Yemen and provides life-saving humanitarian assistance to prevail, like supplying clean water, sanitation, and food. Saudi Arabia has also been a prime donor to Yemen, raising over $800 million in relief, $1 billion to Yemeni residents in Saudi Arabia, $2 billion in development aid, $1 billion to the Central bank in Yemen, and way more, adding all donations up to $8 billion since 2015. As a society; As humans with existing emotions, we must be conscious of the world out of proximity; we should feel remorse and feel the need to provide help for those who are struggling. Speaking on critical topics, donating no matter the amount, and craving world peace should be a strong presumption around the globe.