Feeding the poor in Yemen and Gaza – The New Revolutionary Frontier

SHAFAQNA – As the world community is waking up to the extent of both Yemen and Gaza’s humanitarian crises – which crises very much bear the mark of asymmetrical warfare since their architectures have served both political and geopolitical agendas, it has fallen to independent NGOs to fill the void, and thus offer communities a modicum of relief.

In both Yemen and Gaza despair, destitution, and hardship have been architected around the idea of both submission, and one’s abdication of one’s right to political self-determination.

If one considers that Yemen’s cholera crisis has claimed over 2,048 loves since April, and infected 612,703 people, [World Health Organization (WHO)] without so much an attempt by the world community to stop the war-torn nation to further slip into a humanitarian black hole, then reason dictates we consider pre-meditation. And though few voices to date have dared rise in direct opposition of Saudi Arabia and those powers which wield tyranny as a birthright, murmurs are fast rising.

On August 30 UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip during his first visit to the Hamas-run enclave.

“I am deeply moved to be in Gaza today, unfortunately to witness one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations,” Guterres said, according to AFP.

The United Nations also called in early August for the Saudi-led coalition to ease its 12-month blockade of Yemen’s main airport so the sick and injured can get out and aid can get in.

Care International’s Wael Ibrahim, the country director in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, described the blockade as “collective punishment for people in Yemen”. “There is absolutely no justification for the airport to continue to close,” he said.

If reproaches have now risen above a murmur, world powers have generally and collectively failed to exert enough pressure on the likes of Saudi Arabia to ever make a difference …

Before such vacuum humanitarians have chosen to formulate a solution to the unacceptable to erase the abominable.

The International Center of Justice For Peace, an independently-run Iranian-based NGO organised this Eid al-Adha ( a day which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage for over 1.5 billion Muslims across the world) several food drops in Gaza and Sana’a (Yemen) to express their solidarity with those war-torn communities.

Volunteers in Iran collected the food parcels: mainly meat, and arranged for their distribution to take place simultaneously in both countries to underscore the need of a broad humanitarian push throughout the region to answer famine and destitution.

In an exclusive interview, Mohammad Asghari the spokesperson for The International Center of Justice For Peace said: “This project was totally grassroots, the main goal was to show are solidarity to the oppressed people of Yemen and Palestine; and to show the family of all the victims of war that we feel their pain. It is important we brave those blockades they find themselves under as they are an affront to international law.”

Although several international bodies have attested to Yemen’s crisis, calling on a humanitarian corridor to be set up and all restrictions lifted, Saudi Arabia has maintained pressure on the nation, arguing necessity in the face of a cholera outbreak and famine.

Worst still, Riyadh has often posited the rationality of Yemen’s war by shifting blame onto the very communities suffering the brunt of its aggression.

Gaza, like Yemen has suffered under the same narrative of war.

Asghari also pointed out that Gaza, like Yemen bears the hallmark of engineered oppression by way of hardship. “Food and medicine are severely restricted in both Gaza and Yemen and this has led to many deaths.  Last month 5 Palestinian children were killed because medicine did not reach them.”

Asghari quoted a remark made by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in regards to the silence of many countries before the plight of civilian communities. “There can never be any justifications when children are dying of starvation.”


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