The Horrifying News About Yemen

Natalie Burgos

The world right now seems like it’s in shambles. Turning on the news only leads to more disappointment, because whether it be a spike in Corona cases or more riots gone bad, nothing seems to be going well right now. While everything may seem broken, living in Kingwood allows us to escape from that reality, because we can still go outside and walk most places without wearing a mask. While we still have to follow social distancing protocols, everything in Kingwood almost feels like things are getting back to normal. A lot of the times we forget or we don’t realize how lucky we are to be living in Kingwood or in Texas or even in the United States, because things seem bad right now, but in some ways, we are really lucky. However, those things cannot be said about our friends across the sea in Yemen. The Middle East has always been a controversial issue that people seem to tiptoe around, and everyone seems to have a set opinion about it, whether it be good or bad. However, now is the time to put away any pre-standing notions about the Middle East, because they are hurting more than ever. It was in the same way that we were able to recognize the types of injustices that African Americans were facing in the U.S., that we must now protest the United States involvement in Yemen. Since 2015 Yemen has been going through an ongoing civil war, which has contributed to its title of a third world country. 

I have a personal connection to Yemen, being that my family is from the Middle East, and the types of devastation that has been occurring there has really hit home. Since we live in the US, comparing the US to Yemen isn’t all too different. We have seen first hand what coronavirus can do to a country, as the US was in complete quarantine for months and some states still are in quarantine. It was really tough for a lot of us. We were all worried about family members getting sick and what would happen if they did. A lot of our concerns were focused on what was going to happen to prom and graduation. Nevertheless, we got through it whether it be by distracting ourselves with social media or online school. The media portrays coronavirus as being completely debilitating to a country and having lived through coronavirus a in a first world country, it brings up the question of what it would be like to live through coronavirus in a third world country, what it would be like to live through quarantine without a house, or what it would be like to live through an epidemic while being too scared to go to a hospital. These are everyday problems that people of Yemen have to face everyday. The Houthi Rebels, who control Yemen, have just recently acknowledged the existence of covid-19 in Yemen. Since the outbreak of covid-19 there have been at least 200 confirmed cases in Yemen, of which of all 200 patients have died. The Houthi Rebels have downplayed the severity of covid-19, and there are very little available resources, with just 2 hospitals – one for treatment and one for testing. This has led Yemen to become the biggest and most severe case of humanitarian crisis, with 24 million people being in need of some form of lifesaving aid. Many healthcare workers have contracted covid-19, and have very limited medical supplies which they must use on multiple patients, and more than 50% of the population don’t have access to clean water to wash their hands. While the UN has attempted to support Yemen financially by donating around $500m and Suadi Arabia has donated around $225m, the estimated amount of support Yemen would need for essential aid till December is around $2.41b. While the UN is doing what it can to contribute, other Middle Eastern countries that have participants in the war, such as the United Arab Emirates, have contributed nothing. Mark Lowcock, the under secretary general for humanitarian affairs, has said that without the remaining $1.35b it would “mean the difference between life and death”. Therefore it is our utmost prerogative to help Yemen because they are in dire need of our support. It is with donations and support on all forms of social media that we can hope to see a change in Yemen.

 

Here are a couple of places to donate to help Yemen:

Works Cited

Bel Trew Beirut @beltrew. (2020, April 10). War-ravaged Yemen records first coronavirus case, igniting fears of deadly outbreak. Retrieved June 16, 2020, from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/coronavirus-yemen-cases-outbreak-civil-war-access-supplies-a9459686.html

UN issues desperate plea for financial aid in war-ravaged Yemen. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2020, from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/issues-desperate-plea-financial-aid-war-ravaged-yemen-200612175307651.html

Yemen aid operations at risk after fundraiser falls $1bn short. (2020, June 03). Retrieved June 16, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-52903440?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Fworld-middle-east-48433977

Dfava. (2020, March 10). Yemen Crisis. Retrieved June 16, 2020, from https://www.care.org/emergencies/yemen-humanitarian-crisis