The United Nations last month warned that there could be just three months left to avoid what could be ‘the worst famine in 100 years’

Yemen on the brink of 'worst famine in 100 years'

According to the UN 12 to 13 million people are now facing starvation in Yemen by January 2019

By Action Against Hunger

Nov 8 2018

With violence around Hodeidah Port in Yemen escalating, the meeting of world legislators on 8th November in Paris is critical.

Human rights, humanitarian and peacebuilding organisations are demanding that legislators meeting for the first International Parliamentary Conference for Peace in Yemen demand their governments work together to end the crisis.

Juliet Parker, Action Against Hunger’s Director of Operations, said: "Today’s meeting of MPs in Paris comes at a critical time as the humanitarian situation in Yemen worsens.This week there has been a steep escalation in violence around Hodeidah in a conflict that has already claimed the lives of tens of thousands of young children from malnutrition. The need for a new UN Security Council Resolution on Yemen is urgent. A new resolution must demand a comprehensive cessation of hostilities, hold all parties to account for breaches of international law, and enable humanitarian and commercial access throughout the country to meet the urgent needs of a starving population."

The United Nations last month warned that there could be just three months left to avoid what could be ‘the worst famine in 100 years’, adding that a coalition military offensive on the rebel-held port of Hodeidah would have an ‘incalculable human cost’. 

Action Against Hunger, along with other international organisations working in Yemen, is extremely concerned by the latest advances of pro-government forces in and around Hodeidah and the consequent cutting off routes to the north and east of the country. Already, half a million people have been displaced in Hodeidah governorate, and further attacks will likely result in a new wave of displacement as people flee fearing the conflict.

Yemen produces just 20 percent of the food needed to feed its population, and is highly dependent on imports. More than 60 percent of the country’s imports come through the port of Hodeidah. Cutting off the port would increase those in need by hundreds of thousands and further weaken the 12 to 13 million people now facing starvation in Yemen by January 2019, according to the UN. At least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict and millions have fled the fighting.

Action Against Hunger strongly condemns all attacks in Yemen that result in civilian casualties and reminds all parties of their responsibilities with respect to international humanitarian law. Action Against Hunger urges all parties to urgently demand a cessation of hostilities, to stop the fighting in and around Hodeidah, and to restart dialogue with the United Nations.

Action Against Hunger in Yemen 

Since the start of the devastating conflict, Action Against Hunger has been providing humanitarian assistance to affected populations across Yemen. Despite difficult access, our teams reached more than 600,000 beneficiaries in 2017. Our nutrition and health programmes provide support for acutely malnourished children under five and their mothers; food security and livelihoods programmes through the direct distribution of food or money and/or food coupons; and water, sanitation and hygiene programmes including promotion and distribution of kits, and rehabilitation of water points and latrines. We have trained health workers and treated nearly 30,000 suspected cases of cholera at an Action Against Hunger-supported hospital near Hodeidah.

Images: Florian Seriex for Action Against Hunger