Oxfam:1,000 days of war and a crippling blockade on Yemen is starving its people





Yemen is being pushed ever closer to famine after 1,000 days of a brutal war, exacerbated by a crippling blockade of its key northern ports which is starving its people of food, fuel and medicine Oxfam warned today.

Some 90 per cent of Yemen’s food has to be imported and since a Saudi-led coalition imposed a blockade of the country’s key northern ports more than a month ago, only over a third of the food its people need is coming in.

More than 7 million people are now at acute risk of famine.

The price of food has shot up by 28 per cent since early November 2017, making it increasingly unaffordable for poor families already hit by the collapse of the economy. Clean water supplies in towns and cities have been cut due to fuel shortages, which will have serious implications given that the country is suffering the world’s largest cholera epidemic.

Hospitals are running out of medicines and diphtheria cases have risen. At least a million children are at risk of contracting the disease.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB Chief Executive, said: “For 1,000 days, huge amounts of sophisticated modern weapons have pounded Yemen, and on top of that we are now witnessing a Medieval siege where mass starvation is being used as a weapon of war. Cutting off vital food, fuel and medicine to a population is never justified and should never be tolerated. It is a tactic that is devoid of any sense of decency, any sense of morality and any sense of humanity.

“We are finally hearing concern about the pursuit of this war from those countries which have fuelled the destruction through their arms sales – including strong and uncompromising words from the UK and US.

These words need to be turned into collective action. The UK, as the country responsible for action on Yemen on the UN Security Council, can make a difference. It needs to act decisively, use its unique position to bring collective action to end to the blockade, end the fighting and put Yemen on the road to peace. Failure to do so would be dereliction of its diplomatic duty.”