Yemenis forced to beg as food prices soar, Oxfam warns – Middle East Monitor

Malnutrition forces Yemenis to beg, Oxfam warned yesterday, adding that the country suffered from food insecurity before the recent spike in food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, Oxfam’s country director in Yemen, Ferran Puig, said: “The world must not look the other way as Yemen suffers. Even before the conflict in Ukraine drove up food prices and threatened food imports, two-thirds of major aid programs had already been cut. or closed for lack of funding.”

He added: “We are witnessing this: the malnutrition we see every day is heartbreaking, more and more people are reduced to begging and we have already had to cut some of our services.”

Those who were once safe and able to support themselves and their families can no longer do so. There is a fuel crisis, a monetary crisis and a health crisis ―the country is already on life support.

Puig called on the international community to “intervene to save Yemen by brokering peace to enable a lasting recovery”.

Yesterday the UN announced that it had received financial pledges from 36 donors worth $1.3 billion for its humanitarian plan in Yemen for 2022. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was seeking 4 $.27 billion at the conference, the cost of the UN Plan for Yemen this year, which aims to reach 17.3 million people.

For more than seven years, Yemen has been the scene of an ongoing war between forces loyal to the legitimate government, backed by an Arab military coalition led by neighboring Saudi Arabia, and the Iran-backed Houthis, who control governorates, including the capital, Sanaa, since September 2014.

By the end of 2021, the war had claimed 377,000 lives and cost the Yemeni economy $126 billion in losses, according to the UN. Most of the country’s population, around 30 million, has become dependent on aid, in what has been described as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

READ: At least 10,000 children have been killed in Yemen conflict, says UN chief

Edward N. Arrington