A leading charity is now estimating that 85,000 children under the age of five have died from acute malnutrition in the past three years during the war in Yemen. The charity, Save the Children, says that this number is equivalent to the entire population of children under the age of five in the United Kingdom’s second largest city of Birmingham.
Last month the United Nations said that as many as 14 million Yemenis are starving and approaching death due to famine.
The situation in Yemen is beyond horrible. But the real tragedy is that Donald Trump could intervene and stop the war but he won’t do so. And the reason he won’t is that his friends in Saudi Arabia, who are responsible for the ongoing war, don’t want him to intervene.
“This is not a Yemen crisis: It’s an international crisis. And one in which the West has a hand. “Yemen crisis: 85,000 children ‘dead from malnutrition’ “
This is not a Yemen crisis: It's an international crisis. And one in which the West has a hand. "Yemen crisis: 85,000 children 'dead from malnutrition' "https://t.co/vrk8f5AAZ4
— Nahlah Ayed (@NahlahAyed) November 21, 2018
The U.N. is trying to restart negotiations that would end the three-year war which has caused widespread devastation and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis of the century.
Fighting escalated in 2015 when a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign against the Houthi rebel movement which had forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee abroad.
At least 6,800 civilians have been killed and 10,700 injured in the war, according to the U.N. The fighting and a partial blockade by the coalition have also left 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid. Nearly half the country’s population is is starving and a cholera outbreak has affected 1.2 million people.
“The humanitarian crisis in Yemen grows worse by the day. The conflict has been marked by violations of the laws of war on all sides, including targeting of civilians, torture, the use of child soldiers, and other abuses.”
Aid workers in Yemen have said that the exact number of deaths is difficult to calculate because many go unreported. Less than half of the country’s health facilities are functioning and many people are too poor to go to the facilities that have remained open.
Save the Children says its casualty figures are based on mortality rates for untreated cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition in children under five from data compiled by the U.N. The charity calculated that approximately 85,000 children died between April of 2015 and October of 2018.
Rising food prices and the falling value of the country’s currency as a result of a civil war are putting more families at risk of food shortages.
The UK-based charity blames a blockade of the country’s ports for causing the famine. The country has traditionally imported 90% of its food, and nearly all of that arrives through the ports.
Save the Children said it had been forced to bring supplies for the north of Yemen through its southern port of Aden, which has significantly slowed down aid deliveries.
The charity says that based on historical studies, if acute malnutrition is left untreated, around 20-30% of children will die each year.
“For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death and it’s entirely preventable,” its Yemen director, Tamer Kirolos, said, adding:
“Children who die in this way suffer immensely as their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop. Their immune systems are so weak they are more prone to infections with some too frail to even cry. Parents are having to witness their children wasting away, unable to do anything about it.”
He further warned that an estimated 150,000 children’s lives were endangered in Hudaydah with “a dramatic increase” in air strikes over the city in recent weeks.
If the United States truly wanted to end the crisis it could, but it is unlikely to do so because it would offend Donald Trump’s close friends and business associates in Saudi Arabia. This is one more example of Donald Trump showing that he values money and his personal business interests over people’s lives.