UN food agency says 13 million Yemenis may face starvation
“We’re feeding 13 million people out of a country of 30 million people and we’re running out of money,” said David Beasley, head of the UN food agency.
The head of the UN’s food agency has warned that 13 million Yemenis are facing starvation due to a long-running civil strife and lack of funds for humanitarian aid. In an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, David Beasley said Yemen was “in a very bad state”, with more than 40% of the population already dependent on food supplies from the World Food Program (WFP).
“We are feeding 13 million people out of a country of 30 million people and we are running out of money,” Mr Beasley said, speaking from the capital, Sanaa.
Since the pandemic hit, more people globally are facing the threat of starvation, which has put tremendous pressure on the WFP, Mr Beasley said. He said 285 million people around the world now face the threat of starvation, making it more difficult to meet Yemen’s needs.
“We now have twice the number of people struggling around the world,” Mr Beasley said. “So, what am I going to do to the kids in Yemen? Steal this from the kids in Ethiopia, or Afghanistan, or Nigeria or Syria? It’s not right,” he said.
Mr Beasley said his agency was forced to cut rations for eight million Yemenis due to a lack of funds. “We can get them down to zero. What do you think will happen? People will die. It will be catastrophic,” he said. According to the United Nations Food Agency, about 811 million people worldwide do not have enough food and An estimated 45 million people in 43 countries are at risk of famine.
Mr Beasley said the WFP needed an additional nine billion dollars to meet the growing demand for food aid around the world. “With the world having $430 trillion in wealth today, not a single child should die anywhere on earth,” he argued.
Yemen has been waging a civil war since 2014, when Iran-backed Houthi rebels captured the capital of Sanaa and much of the country’s northern, forcing the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee south. Saudi Arab.
A Saudi-led coalition, backed by the United States, entered the war in March 2015 to try to restore Mr. Hadi and his internationally recognized government to power. Despite a relentless air campaign and ground fighting, the war has largely turned into a standoff and caused a humanitarian crisis. The US has since suspended its direct participation in the conflict.
“In Yemen, these children and these families have paid a substantial price for the war they are in. It is time for the war to end,” Mr. Beasley said. “What I see right now are children and families begging for food.”