New report reveals staggering hunger increase in Yemen

Displaced people in Yemen collect water from distribution points provided by Oxfam. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani

Today the UN announced that levels of hunger have increased by 20 percent in Yemen since June 2016.

There are now over 17 million people in Yemen who are dangerously hungry due to a brutal war that is displacing millions, disrupting food imports, and draining available public services. The international community has fueled this conflict through arms sales and a failure to hold the parties accountable for their violations of the law of war.  Growing civil insecurity is straining humanitarian assistance efforts and disrupting food imports.

A massive humanitarian response is needed to get food through to people’s plates to avert the risk of famine. Ensuring the free flow of food and essential supplies to Yemen’s ports so that it can get to where it is needed is vital. Getting food into the country is crucial, but recent attacks around the country’s major port of Hodeidah have made this extremely difficult.

Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, said:

“All parties to this crisis must understand that the real enemy is famine. Urgent action is needed to get food into the country and move it from port to plate, along with vital fuel and medicines. Too many people have died, too many families have suffered, too many futures have been ruined.”

“The Trump administration has reportedly decided to authorize the sale of more bombs to Saudi Arabia and is recommending that the US Congress dramatically cut the budget for humanitarian aid and contributions to the United Nations. This follows the Trump administration’s first counterterrorism raid, which caused numerous civilian casualties in Yemen, and a decision to relax rules aimed at preventing civilian casualties there in the future."

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