SHAFAQNA – A veil it seems has been lifted … Today the world has awaken to the reality of Yemen’s war – the burden a people was made to carry for their hearts dared demand that their rights be recognized: be that of religious freedom, ownership, political self-determination.
More than half of the total population of Yemen, some 14.4 million people, are food insecure due to ongoing conflict and import restrictions, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Thursday.
The number of food insecure people has grown by 12 percent since June 2015, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here, citing FAO information.
“Fuel shortages and restrictions on imports, which Yemen relies on for more than 90 percent of its staple foods, have reduced the availability of essential food commodities and caused food and fuel prices to soar since conflict escalated in March 2015,” Dujarric said.
Crop production, livestock rearing and fisheries employ 50 percent of Yemen’s workforce and are the main sources of livelihoods for two-thirds of the country, the spokesman said, Xinhua reported.
Imports are essential as only four percent of the country’s land is arable and only a fraction of that is currently used for food production.
Earlier this month, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reported that civilians were suffering a “terrible toll” in the fighting, with casualties topping 8,100, nearly 2,800 of them killed, amid Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, shelling by Houthi groups and other clashes.
FAO noted that 2.3 million people are internally displaced, an increase of more than 400 percent over January 2015, putting added pressure on host communities already struggling with limited food resources.
“Food insecurity and malnutrition are becoming highly critical,” FAO Representative in Yemen Salah Elhajj Hassan said, calling for urgent support to assist families and protect their livestock as well as measures to facilitate much-needed food and fuel imports.
Meanwhile, a shortage of critical inputs like seeds and fertilizers have severely reduced crop production, with estimates suggesting the recent conflict has caused dramatic losses to the agriculture sector.
Adding to the dire situation, Yemen was hit by two cyclones in November, heavily disrupting fishermen’s livelihoods along the country’s coast lines.
Yemen is among the most water-scarce countries in the world with less than five percent of the world average available per person per year, making irrigation a key concern for farmers.
Those are the facts! bit those facts only tell half of the story. There is a deeper truth to Yemen’ suffering, yet much of it remains still unknown for it speaks of an evil which power still holds sway over world capitals.
Yemen stands thwarted by Wahhabi Saudi Arabia; its sky has been darkened by the suffocating spectre of religious radicalization – this evil Wahhabi clerics have try to pass as Islamic, when its dogma speaks only of Islam’s betrayals.
Wahhabism is what Yemen has been resisting against, opposing and denouncing. It is in the name of a Wahhabist agenda that Yemen has been made to starve and wither.
Yemen today is at war with many evils: Wahhabism itself and those legions in league with Wahhabism, namely the humanitarian complex.
Under cover of humanitarian aid, UN agencies and NGOs have worked against Yemen’s pluralist tradition, eroding and conditioning society to fit Wahhabi clerics’ agenda.
Blinded by Riyadh’s financial largess, the UN and countless NGOs have worked in a system which is inherently unfair, sectarian, and prejudiced.
Yemen humanitarian blockade stands testimony to Riyadh’s criminal methods.
Few have been those who have stood against the current, refusing to integrate a system they know to be ideologically genocidal – the Mona Relief Organization, is one of the few charities running against Saudi Arabia’s starvation campaign in Yemen.
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna