In Multipolarity

By Sophie McNeill, Middle East correspondent, ABC.net.au, March 17, 2017

Undernourished baby in Yemen hospital (photo by Save The Children, on ABC.net.au)

New evidence of babies starving to death in Yemen has emerged as the United Nations (UN) and aid agencies issue urgent calls for increased aid deliveries to feed seven million people at risk of famine.

The charity Save the Children took the images this week in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, in the wards of the Al Sabeen Hospital.

Yemen’s hidden war

The NGO says its teams are seeing skeletal children in Yemen’s hospitals on the brink of death, so hungry they do not even have the energy to cry. “We are helping pregnant women who have starved themselves to feed their families, forced to choose between the living and the unborn,” said Grant Pritchard, interim country director for Save the Children in Yemen.

“We are treating babies who have been sick since birth with diseases that are preventable and easily curable with the right medicines.”

Funeral hall in Yemeni capital of Sana’a bombed by Saudi Arabia on Oct 8, 2016 (AFP)

Forces loyal to the pro-Saudi president of Yemen have been locked in an increasingly bitter war with Houthi rebel forces, who have conducted a decade-long campaign against the government. The conflict has devastated Yemen, collapsing the country’s fragile economy and destroying critical infrastructure.

The NGO is calling on governments to put pressure on the Saudi-led Coalition to immediately ensure urgent food aid can be delivered through Yemen’s main port on the Red Sea at Hudaydah. Ships have recently been prevented from docking at the port due to bombed infrastructure and “security reasons” imposed by the Saudi Coalition.

“Right now the odds are stacked against us. We have had three shipments of life-saving medical aid delayed by the coalition so far this year, and our field teams tell us children have died as a result,” Mr Pritchard said.

“By bombing and blocking Yemen’s main port — the country’s lifeline for essential supplies — Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies are preventing the delivery of food and aid by sea.

“This crisis is not an act of nature. It is man-made. Food and aid are being used as weapons of war.”

Currently, the Australian Government gives no direct aid funding to Yemen despite the fact it has been classified as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. Aid agencies have called on the Turnbull Government to immediately allocate aid funds to the country.

Yemen is one of four current famine or near-famine situations, along with South Sudan, northeast Nigeria and Somalia.

Last month the UN said more than $5 billion was needed by the end of March to prevent more than 20 million people in the four at-risk countries starving in the next six months.


Yemenis protest in capital city Sana’a against ongoing Saudi aggression

Press TV, March 17, 2017 (with video)

Yemenis have taken to the streets of the capital city Sana’a in protest against the ongoing Saudi aggression as well as the blockade against the impoverished country. The protesters gathered in Bab al-Yemen square on March 17, highlighting their steadfastness and resistance against the aggressors.

The demonstrators chanted slogans condemning the silence of the world on the plight of Yemenis.

Yemen’s civil coalition that monitors Saudi war crimes slammed the silence of the UN and international organizations on the sanctions imposed on Yemen, the sales of weapons and military equipment to Saudi Arabia, the closure of Sana’a International Airport and the transfer of the central bank to the south of the country. T

More than 12,000 people have been killed since Riyadh unleashed the campaign against Yemen in March 2015. The campaign’s aim was to push back revolutionary fighters from Sana’a and reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, the president who has resigned and is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

Read also:
U.S. must not sell arms to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, says Amnesty International, Press TV, March 16, 2017

UN says world faces largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, by Edith M Lederer, Associated Press, March 10, 2017

… UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council on March 10 that “without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death” and “many more will suffer and die from disease.”

He urged an immediate injection of funds for Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and northeast Nigeria plus safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid “to avert a catastrophe.”

“To be precise,” O’Brien said, “we need $4.4 billion by July.”

Yemen’s hidden war: On the ground in the deadly conflict the world is ignoring, feature article with extensive photos, by Adam Bailes, ABC.net.au, first published on Nov 30, 2015

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