Even with the Coronavirus showing a strong hold on the world, for some it is the least of their concerns.

This is not because of ignorance or insufficient knowledge about the severity of the current situation. It is because these people have been living in times of uncertainty the way we have been living for about six months, for about six years now. Yet majority of the times I watch the news daily with my parents and sister, I have not heard much at all about these crises.

Yemen is suffering from a humanitarian crisis right now. Since 2014, when a massive civil war and movement of political unrest broke out in the nation during shaking leadership, air strikes and bullets being fired have become accustomed sounds in the streets. Houthi forces, Saudi-backed fighters who are in combat against the Yemeni Government, have carried out constant air strikes and raids on innocent citizen communities for intimidation.

In 2011, a revolution across Yemen came to light as authoritarian leader Ali Abdullah Saleh handed over his power to his deputy Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi after public demonstration and pressure. However, Hadi struggled to keep political unrest in different parts of his country under control; with a separatist movement in the south, widespread and not-so-secretive corruption and low economic times made for a difficult time navigating. During these times of weakness in the government, Houthi forces grew astoundingly in number and began taking over territory. The government sadly underestimated the power of the fighters, which made the Houthi’s journey to acquiring land easier.

The suffering is everyday. Image by Yahoo.

Fast forward to 2020, and the Yemeni people are suffering everyday because of this war. Widespread food shortages draw people away from food markets towards the trash cans, hoping to find leftover scraps to feed their families. Millions upon millions of young children are starving, with an estimated 10 million “one step from famine”. The economy is slumping in comparison to previous years, which is telling as the the scale of disaster since the war has continued for six. About 80% of the population in Yemen is in need of financial assistance without a government to provide them with what they need. The population is either living in make-shift campsites (unable to abide by social distancing), has fled the country, or died in conflict. As horrible as it is, a distinct portion of the population has died, many children. The people of Yemen are already face-to-face with danger, uncertainty and loss that the Coronavirus seems to pale in comparison.

My, and neighbouring, country’s main focus has been dealing with the Coronavirus. We are all putting in the effort to isolate ourselves from others, practise good hygiene and abide by regulations/recommendations set by credible sources. However, it seems I overestimated the scope of the word “all”. Because the struggles of isolation, fear and uncertainty that we are complaining ruthlessly about are the same (and worse in a war zone, mind you) that they might have to face for many more days to come.


No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *