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Get involved: The Yemen famine will kill millions, here’s how to help

For three years, war has raged on in Yemen.

The conflict, however, has taken a turn for the worst as the United Nations has officially declared the brutal war to currently be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

With 13 million people at risk of starvation, the U.N has issued a stark warning, declaring that the country is set to experience the world’s worst famine in 100 years.

So how did this happen?

Well, like most conflicts in the Middle East, the cause of conflict is highly vexed and is a conflation of a failed transition of government power, religious fighting and separatism, Western monetary interests, and of course, oil.

The fighting in Yemen is between three groups. The Yemeni government forces are supported by a coalition of nations led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

This coalition is fighting against a northern religious Shia rebel group called the Houthi’s who are aligned with the previous president of Yemen and have relentlessly sought to undermine the current reign of President Abbrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Their efforts have proven successful as President Hadi was forced to flee in response to the Houthi’s military advances that ultimately led them to capture the nation’s capital of San’aa in 2014.

Backed by the nation of Iran, the Houthi’s have since mobilized south in an effort to seize control of the coastal city of Aden, the nation’s second largest city.

The conflict is further complicated by a third Sunni Muslim extremist militant group that is fighting a war against both the Yemeni coalition government and the Houthi rebellion. This third groups aligns itself with Al Qaeda and has had a stronghold in eastern regions of the country.

Though Yemen is a small country, it has attracted the attention of surrounding Middle Eastern nations as well as the West. Located on the edge of the Arab Peninsula, Yemen offers access to the Gulf of Aden; a site of strategic importance as it is crucial for the movement of oil around the world.

The conflict in Yemen is ultimately viewed as a proxy war between the surrounding powers of Saudi Arabia (who back Yemen’s government forces) and Iran (who support the Houthi’s).

Although the U.S and U.K have provided 450 million dollars worth of aid to Yemen, there is nonetheless, an emphatic contradiction in their foreign policy and humanitarian support.

Both Western forces have been profiting off the war by selling arms to Saudi Arabia. In fact, Amnesty International reported that the U.K earned 5 billion dollars through arms sales in funding Saudi Arabia’s war effort. In short, in order to understand the West’s involvement in the conflict, one simply has to follow the money.

One of the many things that is so devastating and disturbing about this conflict is that the strategy for Saudi-led airstrikes has shifted from targeting Houthi’s strongholds to Yemenite civilians.

The bombing has killed over 10 thousand people and the destruction has resulted in the mass displacement of people from their homes; leaving hundreds of thousands destitute and devoid of any basic resources. Yemen is experiencing severe famine…

In sharing a border with Saudi Arabia, a horrific blockade campaign by the Saudi government prevents the distribution of aid to those who desperately need it and has left millions of civilians malnourished.

You can still help however by donating to the organizations below:



Doctors Without Borders

Save the Children