Saudi-Led Coalition Blockades Worsen Humanitarian Situation In Yemen; Trump Administration Should ‘Act Immediately’

Washington Post: Children are starving in Yemen. The White House should intervene.
Editorial Board

“…Yemen’s 28 million people depend on imports for up to 90 percent of their basic needs, including food, fuel, and medicine. … Saudi Arabia imposed the blockade after a missile allegedly fired by the Houthis came close to its capital, Riyadh. … According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Sanaa, Hodeida, and three other crowded cities … have lost access to clean drinking water because of a lack of fuel. One million children are at risk from an incipient diphtheria epidemic because vaccines are out of reach on U.N. ships offshore. According to Rasha Muhrez, Save the Children’s director of operations in Yemen, several governates are down to a five-day supply of the fuel needed to operate flour mills, without which the millions dependent on food handouts will starve. … The Trump administration, through the State Department, has objected to the ongoing blockade and called for ‘unimpeded access’ for humanitarian supplies. But many in Yemen suspect, with some reason, that the White House is tolerating, if not encouraging, the crime. … Even if it was unaware of the subsequent crackdown, the White House has the leverage to put a stop to it. It should act immediately, or it will be complicit in a crime against humanity” (11/20).

Slate: The Deep Roots of Yemen’s Famine
Laura Kasinof, author

“The intractable war in Yemen that has been laying waste to the northern half of the country for nearly three years became even more dismal in early November when Saudi Arabia tightened its blockade on the country, cutting a desperate population off from much-needed food aid, medical supplies, and fuel. … The United Nation’s under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has warned that if the blockade isn’t lifted, Yemen ‘… will be the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims.’ … Making matters worse, Yemen has also been suffering from the largest cholera outbreak in recorded history, killing at least 2,150 civilians since October 2016. While the spread of cholera recently has been contained, renewed fuel shortages mean clean water cannot be pumped from deep wells, nor transported to vulnerable populations. … Cases of other diseases, like diphtheria and scabies, have also been reported and hospitals have limited supplies of medicines to treat them. … Many Yemenis can’t afford what food exists — a gap that aid agencies can’t totally fill even in the best of environments…” (11/20).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.