A report released by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) highlights the devastating impact of continued conflict on the people of Yemen, as the war currently in its fifth year shows no signs of abating, a year after the so-called Stockholm Agreement.
At the current rate of decline, the report entitled “The war destroyed our dreams” suggests it will take 20 years to bring back Yemen from the brink towards pre-crisis levels of child hunger. It also claimed that should the war persist for the next five years, it will cost the international community some $29 billion in humanitarian aid, accounting for “more than the entire humanitarian budget globally”.
Yemen is now home to the largest food insecure population in the world
As such, the organisation has called on the UN Security Council to use its diplomatic influence in working towards peace such as implementing an immediate ceasefire among warring parties and removing impediments to humanitarian assistance. Additionally, international donors, should put pressure on both the so-called internationally recognised Yemeni government and the Houthi-led government based in the capital Sanaa, to ensure all air and seaports are open and fully functioning as well as addressing the country’s collapsing economy.
The research also shed light on the negative impact the conflict has had on women and girls, describing them as being “disproportionately affected” by some of the worst affects of the food crisis; 1.1 million pregnant or lactating women suffered from acute malnourishment in the previous year. The desperate situation has also contributed to an increasing number in child marriages, in the country, where 50 per cent of girls were married before the age of 18 prior to the crisis, the number now stands at more than two-thirds of girls. This has been explained as “coping mechanisms” as poor families feel a husband’s family can offer better protection or that it can raise funds from dowry payments.
Former British Foreign Secretary and current President and CEO of IRC David Miliband said: “Today’s grim predictions are an insight into the collosal [sic] cost of the Age of Impunity: where wars are fought with a complete disregard for civilian life and neglected by diplomats charged with ending the violence and holding perpetrators of international law to account. What’s more, the war in Yemen has been prolonged by active military support and diplomatic cover from the US, UK, and other Western powers.”
The war in Yemen has killed over 100,000 people and created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical shortages.