CARE warns: Three years on from escalation of conflict, Yemeni people left sick, starving, and plunged into the darkness
AMMAN, Jordan (March 21, 2018) – After three years of brutal conflict, Yemeni people have been left sick, starving, and in the dark, warns international aid organization CARE. An analysis of satellite images by Prof. Xi Li and Prof. Deren Li of China’s Wuhan University shows that Yemen’s cities have lost more than half of their electricity since the escalation of the conflict. Twelve of Yemen’s 21 provinces have lost more than 70 percent of their light compared to before the war, with some losing as much as 95%.
“The war in Yemen has quite literally turned off the light for most people. It shows how much the infrastructure and economy have been damaged and what a struggle it is for the Yemeni people to survive,” says Jolien Veldwijk, CARE Yemen’s Assistant Country Director. Since the conflict escalated in 2015, nearly 10,000 Yemenis have died and more than 52,000 have been injured. In total, more than 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million children.
"As we approach the fourth year of war in Yemen, we call on all parties of the conflict and the international communities to end the suffering of Yemenis and to work towards lasting peace that brings prosperity to the whole country. Peace is the only solution. Without peace Yemen will enter another year of starvation and devastation," says Veldwijk.
International monitoring bodies have also determined that there is the potential for an elevated risk of famine. Additionally, the effects of the collapse of Yemen’s infrastructure is far-reaching: sixteen million Yemenis also lack access to healthcare in 2018 and more than half of the country’s healthcare centers are closed, stunning figures considering that there have been more than one million suspected cholera cases and confirmed 1300 diphtheria cases, numbers that are only expected to rise as the rainy season nears.
The situation of women and girls is particularly dire. They make up more than 76% of the two million internally displaced people, and at least one in five female-headed households is led by girls under 18. Child marriage has also skyrocketed, with 66% of girls under 18 marrying in 2017, compared with 52% in 2016.
While Yemenis are sick, starving, and unsure of how to feed their families, they are also, literally, left in the dark.
The ongoing violence is making humanitarian access to those most in need extremely challenging, and CARE continues to call on all parties to the conflict and the international community to prioritize the access and delivery of life-saving supplies to the affected people in Yemen as well as a durable and inclusive political solution.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than seven decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. Last year, CARE worked in 93 countries to reach 63 million people, including more than 14 million through emergency response and humanitarian aid. Learn more at www.care.org
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