Famine is a pressing concern for inhabitants of Yemen after an attack from Houthi rebels on Riyadh caused Saudi Arabia to retaliate.
The attack was sparked by a civil war that has been ongoing since 2015. According to BBC, Yemen “has been devastated by a war between forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.” The Houthi rebels carried out a missile attack on an airport in Riyadh, the heavily populated capital of Saudi Arabia.
According to CNN, “The Saudis were able to intercept the projectile, but the event has rattled the region.” In response to the attack, Saudi Arabia blocked Yemen’s ship ports and plane landings, denying Yemen of the much-needed food and medical relief.
The civil war has played a significant role in the malnutrition and hunger of Yemen’s citizens because of the destruction and loss of life left in its wake. According to the UN, “The fighting has . . . collapsed the country’s health, and water and sanitation systems. Combined with the lack of food, millions of lives-including those of children-will be lost as their bodies will simply not have the strength to fight off disease.” According to KSL, Robert Mardini, the Middle East Director for the International committee of the Red Cross said: “’If I have to compare Yemen to a person, I would say that this person is very sick, this person is very weakened, and is being drip-fed.’” As the situation grows more dire, Yemen faces a massive death toll in their fragile state.
While Saudi Arabia continues to block Yemen’s ports and plane landings, humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross are working on finding a way to provide aid.