Yemen: More than a Crisis

Living in a Nightmare

2020 hasn’t been the best of years.We have faced one of the biggest obstacles in the world due to COVID-19. Lives were lost and people have been overcome with the idea they may contract the virus. With numbers fluctuating on the daily, we know that every country has experienced an influx of  COVID-19 deaths, but Yemen received so much more than anyone could handle.

Along with COVID-19, the Yemenis have been riddled with diseases within a span of 5 years, including malaria, coronavirus, and cholera. They also experienced a civil war in that 5-year period that claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Yemenis. The basis of this war is heated political tension between some of the Yemenis and their President. These were more than simple disagreements, as the Houthi Rebels (people who are a part of the war against Saudia Arabia) wanted a new government, while the Yemen Government tried to fix their unemployment rates and attempted to help their people. Amongst these tragic adversities, Yemen also suffers from mass famine, mass malnutrition, lack of medicine, lack of food, and decimated homes from artillery strikes. This stems from the fact that over 24 million Yemenis need assistance before disease and violence manifest further.

Referring to the war standpoint, the U.S.  has supported Saudi Arabia in their efforts to try and suppress the violent acts of the Houthi Rebels. Saudi has sent their troops to the Southern portion of Yemen, as the rebels have taken over the Northern part of it. To this day, the war is still being fought between Saudi Arabia and the Yemen government against the Houthis. 

Another ally to Yemen is a world-renowned organization known to support countries in need, UNICEF, as they have been a helping hand in Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. Since the war has caused hospitals and healthcare organizations to shut down due to the destruction of their buildings, UNICEF has been able to spearhead something called the Humanitarian Strategy.

With this, they have created WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene). Due to a lack of exceptional sanitary conditions and water supply, they provide the people with clean water to drink and take showers with. They try to import water supply to densely populated places, while at the same time, trying their best to locate these “water spots” more conveniently to others. This way, they can at least try to prevent diseases that are a product of insanitation such as cholera/diarrhea from the consumption of dirty water and food. 

They also have done ample work trying to provide education to children. Over 4,000 social workers and teachers have been trained to teach the youth of Yemen since all schools have closed. The students  have been behind on the curriculum for a long time now, and these teachers are trying to accelerate the process in which they can get the kids back on track. 

Vaccinations are also essential to prevent diseases, and UNICEF is at the top of their game in trying to vaccinate the Yemenis. The vaccinations were primarily to prevent diseases such as polio, cholera, and measles.

STATS

In short, Yemen faces many problems. These are some of the statistics:

  • 80% of the population need support for food, water, and homes.      
  • 25% of the population suffers from malnutrition.
  • 2 million children had no education before the efforts of UNICEF. However, they don’t have all the resources to teach that many kids.
  • 7,000 Yemenis civilians died due to war causes. 
  • 1,089 COVID-19 cases reported.
  • 293 have died.
  • 402 have recovered from COVID-19.
  • 2. 1 million cholera cases since December 2019. 
  • In 2018, 1, 117 children were forcibly recruited to fight in the war. There is speculation that there were more children in 2019 and 2020. 
  • Also in 2018, UNICEF managed to vaccinate almost 5 million kids against polio, measles, and cholera since those kids were also at high risk for getting polio from unsanitary conditions.

U.S. INTERVENTION

The U.S.  supports Saudi Arabia in its efforts to help Yemen’s war. This decision is up for debate as war is not something to be taken lightly and some individuals think that America is in the wrong. But are we?

To start, the U.S has allocated $721 million dollars for the Yemen Crisis since 2017.  They also helped Saudi Arabia by providing them with intelligence and logistics support, but not directly sending American troops to fight. President Trump has also passed a veto to stop supporting Saudi Arabia’s war with Yemen in 2019. This means that Saudi will not have the intelligence and logistics support given by the U.S anymore. 

I support this veto as it reduces the potential target America has in helping Saudi Arabia in the war. Houthi rebels and Iran are partners in this war against Saudi Arabia, so keeping our people safe is also a priority. Although Yemen doesn’t have our government’s support, we as a people should be able to help them out without incorporating war into the equation. 

Gen Z’s Purpose

Our generation is more than just iPhones, Instagram, and Facetime calls with our friends. We are born in an age where technology is accessible and convenient for our personal use. At the moment, we really cannot safely fly to Yemen and save everyone there, as  COVID-19 and the war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen continue. But as one, we are capable of making small organizations to make an impact. For example, Zenerations started small but expanded to not only spread the word of other people but issues around the world. Starting an organization isn’t easy, but with time and effort, everything can fall into play.

Educate yourself. Because we cannot  physically go there, we still have access to the internet to keep in touch with major events. Having full knowledge about Yemen and what is happening to their people is so important to know what you can do to remotely help them. 

For instance , remotely helping Yemen includes donating any amount to major organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and many more on the web. It doesn’t have to be a costly amount, but rather just a little something to help these organizations. If every person in America donated to one organization, that is $333,000,000 just to one organization. Vaccines, toilets, water, educational funds, house building funds would all be somewhat accounted for, to say the least. 

So if you can, I encourage you to do so!

SOURCES

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