Level 3 Humanitarian Crisis Hits Yemen
The worst humanitarian crisis has engulfed Yemen as the result of of the Houthi rebels and the deadly airstrikes by Saudi Arabia which began in March 2014 against the Arabian Peninsula country.
According to the United Nations, the country’s children are at high risk of diseases and malnutrition due to the prevailing food security crisis. In fact, the world’s body declared the humanitarian crisis the worst and in “Level 3” category.
Records show that more than 21.1 million citizens of Yemen need aid, 13 million face food shortages and 9 million have little or no access to water.
In March this year, an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes over Yemen to counter the Iran-backed coup d’etat by the Houthis which took place on February 6, 2015. Reports say that the kingdom has deployed 100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units in “Operation Decisive Storm.”
US Deeply Concerned About Yemen Crisis
As the crisis worsens in Yemen, the United States of America expressed deep concern and pledged to coordinate with the United Nations for humanitarian response and actions.
In a press statement in Washington DC, Department Spokesperson John Kirby said the US joins the United Nations and the international community in calling for an immediate humanitarian pause, to be enacted as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon suggested in his July 1 statement until the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr celebration.
“The United States will continue to work actively with humanitarian organizations to help facilitate the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid.” – Mr. Kirby
He added that a humanitarian pause now could also further efforts to create space for productive political dialogue as part of the UN-facilitated political transition process in which all of Yemen’s communities have important roles to play.
Houthi Rebels Against Yemeni Forces
At least 120 people were killed in the clashes between Yemeni government forces and between Shi’ite Muslim Houthi rebels in northern Yemen in July last year.
Around 100 Houthi rebels and 20 Yemeni government soldiers were in a fierce battle this week.
Earlier in 2014, the rebels attacked Amran, and left 150 civilians dead.
Yemeni forces used warplanes to attack the positions held by the rebels near the provincial capital of Amran.
The fighting ended after a ceasefire was agreed. No clashes were reported on Tuesday.
The Houthis have been launching uprisings over the past 10 years. The rebels are earnestly fighting for autonomy in northern Yemen.
Last week, Houthis attacked Saudi Arabian border towns, in retaliation for airstrikes. Today, peace talks broke down after a pause following the deaths of more than 170 people. The UN has been trying to broker a peace deal, but the two sides are making demands the other side will not accept.