Humanitarian Aid is Vital But Not Enough, 8 Million Yemenis Lost their Livelihoods
The United Nations has announced that more than 8 million Yemenis have lost their livelihoods because of the war in the country.
“In an effort to alleviate poverty, between 6 million to 100,000 working days were created for 264,000 Yemeni workers as part of the emergency response to the crisis in the country,” said the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Sanaa on Twitter.
The program added that “as a result of losing livelihoods, there are 22.2 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance.”
The international community has responded to Yemen’s crisis by pledging humanitarian aid. Earlier this month, donors committed $2bn of the $3bn requested by the UN for 2018. Ironically, the Saudi-led coalition countries were the biggest contributors, effectively paying for humanitarian sticking plasters while causing an economic haemorrhage.
Humanitarian aid is vital but it is not enough. Western countries, including the UK, could be doing far more to broker a peace agreement. They should also hold Saudi Arabia and other members of the coalition accountable for potential war crimes and violations of humanitarian law.
Yemen also desperately needs international support for an anti-famine strategy. That strategy has to go beyond delivering emergency supplies to restoring food markets, reconstructing infrastructure and financing the salaries of public workers. The World Bank could play a critical role in these areas.
None of this will work without an end to the economic strangulation that almost killed Yemen’s children, they are dying because of world failure in protect them.