UN: Over 18 Million People at Risk of Starving to Death in Yemen in 2018

0
180

The United Nations cautioned Thursday that an estimated 18.4 million are anticipated to perish of war-driven starvation in Yemen by the end of the year, a development that will exacerbate what some say is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

In anticipation of the ongoing Saudi-led assault on the port city of Hodeidah, the U.N.threatened that the operation could trigger a famine that would imperil millions by choking off what trickle of urgently needed aid is still flowing into the city.

Less than a month before the June 13 start of the Hodeidah offensive, which has already worsened the humanitarian crisis, Mark Lowcock, U.N. aid chief, said in a statement that 10 million additional Yemenis are expected to die out of hunger by the end of the year, bringing the number to 18.4 million.

A main cause of the widespread hunger in Yemen is a Saudi-led blockade of the country’s biggest port in the city of Hodeidah, according to the UN statement. Around 90% of Yemen’s food supply is imported, and 70-80% of Yemen’s imports pass through Hodeidah, so the port’s functionality is crucial to the abundance and affordability of food in the country.

Saudi Arabia first imposed the blockade of Hodeidah port in March 2015 to prevent the entry of any weapons into the country, as the coalition claimed. However, every single ship coming into the country has to undergo inspection by the coalition and can only enter the port only when the Saud-led coalition permits.