Millions face starvation in Yemen

 

Sir, – The UN is warning that Yemen is on the brink of a famine that could be the worst the world has seen in 100 years. A staggering 13 million people are facing starvation.

This famine is a shocking example of an entirely human-made crisis. The three-year civil war between a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia, supported by the UK, the US and France, and Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, has led to this crisis, and it has been made worse by food and trade routes being cut off.

Assaults on men, women and children have become appallingly routine. Dozens of people were killed by explosions outside a hospital and market in early August. A week later, more than 50 people were slaughtered when airstrikes hit a busload of children. A week after that, more than 25 people were killed while fleeing fighting. Last week, missiles hit a camp of displaced people, killing one woman and injuring 15 others.

Saudi Arabia is currently being criticised by western nations for the disappearance of a journalist in a Saudi embassy in Turkey. Yet these are the same countries providing political, military, technical and logistical support to the Saudi war in Yemen.

The world needs to act on Yemen. Ireland should increase its diplomatic engagement to put pressure on all actors to restart the stalled peace process and find a political end to this conflict. All warring parties should call a ceasefire and allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid. An independent investigation into allegations of war crimes and violations of humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict must take place.

Anything less would be a violation of our collective human responsibility to promote and protect the rights of the world’s most vulnerable people. – Yours, etc,

CAOIMHE de BARRA,

Chief Executive,

Trócaire,

Maynooth, Co Kildare.