Millions of Yemenis continue to be deprived of food, fuel, and medicine as Saudi Arabia maintains its blockade on the northern ports of Yemen. The blockade has further compounded the precarious situation inside Yemen and, according to a report published by Oxfam on Wednesday, pushed millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine. Nearly 5,300 civilians have been killed while three million have been forced to flee their homes over the past 1,000 days, according to Oxfam.
The UK-based charity also noted that one million people are suspected to have contracted cholera, a disease caused by contaminated water, in the world’s worst outbreak ever recorded.
Civilian casualties due to the violence are being dwarfed by deaths due to disease and hunger, although exact figures have not been collected.
Save the Children warned last month that 50,000 children would die by the end of the year, with the UN warning that one child was dying every 10 minutes from preventable causes including diarrhoea, breathing infections and malnutrition.
“While the US and the UK are among the biggest donors to the 2017 appeal – representing together over 46 percent of the funding – they are also benefiting from over $10 billion worth of arms sales,” said Oxfam.
“It’s been 1,000 days since the Saudi Arabia and UAE-led coalition started bombing and fighting in Yemen, and even longer since deadly violence broke out across the country. In that time, the devastation of Yemen has been unimaginably absolute. The conduct of all warring parties, without exception, has been deplorable,” he said.
“We cannot allow the war in Yemen to continue for even one more day. If those in power, or those with the influence to end this war, do not bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict they will be complicit in condemning the children of Yemen to even more death and misery.”
The charity highlighted the case of a 13-year-old girl who it called Nora, not her real name, who is wheelchair-bound after the blast wave from an airstrike two years ago knocked her down and seriously damaged her spine.
“I used to go to school on foot, my life was beautiful because I could walk and write. Now, I can’t walk to school. I can only go with the wheelchair. I used to be able to sit in a chair at my desk and write but now when I try to write, my hand hurts because of the injury in my back. I used to love writing, but now I can’t even hold a pen,” she said.
The report noted that despite Britain and the US being the most significant donors to UN appeals to help Yemen, both countries had pocketed “four times the amount of the Yemen 2017 UN appeal” in arms sales to warring sides of the conflict.