12/06/2019, 13.35
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Children in Yemen will suffer hunger and poverty for 20 years because of the war

The war will cost the international community US$ 29 billion in terms of aid. According to a report by the International Rescue Committee, Yemen is most food insecure country in the world. The current situation is the by-product of years of "impunity" and Western support.


Sana'a (AsiaNews) – If the war in Yemen ends now, and there is little prospect of that, it will take at least 20 years before the children in Yemen return to the lesser level of malnutrition they suffered before the conflict broke out, this according to the latest report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Titled The War destroyed our dreams, the 20-page report says that the Yemen war will cost international community as much as billion if it continues in terms of resources and humanitarian aid.

The study confirms that Yemen is presently the most food insecure country in the world, a situation that appears to be steadily worsening. Just a year ago, famine was declared in certain parts of the country, with children suffering the most. 

The Arab nation, already the poorest in the Arabian Peninsula, began sinking into a brutal conflict after Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, took the capital Sana'a in 2014.

The clash between rebels and the pro-Saudi government took a turn for the worse in March 2015 with the intervention of an Arab coalition led by Riyadh. Local divisions became the cause of a proxy war that displaced millions of displaced and triggered, according to the United Nations, “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world”.

So far, some 90,000 people have died, both civilians and combatants. At the same time, about 24 million Yemenis (80 per cent of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance, 16 living on the brink of famine.

Some reports indicate that some 2,500 children have been forced to take up arms whilst half of all girls are married off before the age of 15.

The report goes on to say that the conflict has not reduced Iranian influence; instead it appears to have boosted the separatists and further destabilised the region with new threats to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and global energy supply, as well as created a vacuum exploited by terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

Today’s "grim" predictions, says David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, are the mirror and the cost of years of "impunity".

What's worse, he adds, “the war in Yemen has been prolonged by active military support and diplomatic cover from the US, UK, and other Western powers.” 

Humanitarian aid alone “cannot address this malaise.” What are needed more than ever are “diplomatic tools” to back negotiations.

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