Yemen is one of the forgotten wars of the 21st century. Since 2015, the conflict has kept the Shiite group of the Houthi at odds with the government group of Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, which has the support of an international coalition, led by Saudi Arabia. The presence of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State has worsened the situation. They have taken advantage of the war to impose their terrorist violence.
From 2015, the Yemeni population has been exposed to violence. The latest United Nations data report claims 70,000 deaths and more than 190,000 displaced persons.
The pope is one of the few people who has not forgotten this war. During one of his audiences this year, he asked people to pray the Our Father for child victims of wars.
March 27, 2019
It will do us good to stop for a while and think about the hungry children. Think of the children in countries at war, the starving children of Yemen, the starving children of Syria, the starving children of so many countries where there is no bread. In South Sudan... Let us think of these children and say out loud the prayer: Father, give us our daily bread today. All together.
The humanitarian situation in the country is one of the worst in the world according to the United Nations food program. In addition, new outbreaks of cholera have been reported recently.
“I saw a kind of desperate resilience, but also a deep sadness, a nation that has essentially lost its ability to develop and indeed according to our latest estimates has lost twenty years of its development in these four years of conflict. People are hungry. People are suffering. Their institutions, their schools, their local administration have collapsed. And for many of them, life as they knew it simply has ceased to exist.”
In 2018, 10 million people were warned that they were at risk of starvation. The lack of access to resources is generating alarming levels of malnutrition. One reason is that much of the humanitarian aid cannot reach the population, as the main areas of access are blocked by countries led by Saudi Arabia.
“So much of what I have seen here in Yemen over these days is the human tragedy that falls out when war happens. Our work as the United Nations, the work of the international community, but above all the leaders here in Yemen and in the region, need to look at this for what it is: a human tragedy with enormous implications for generations to come if we do not stop this war and begin to rebuild the country.”
The UN continues its fundraising campaign for Yemen to help the civilian population. In the meantime, the country is falling apart amid a forgotten war, the end of which does not yet seem near.