Where Does Yemen Stand Today?
By admin August 25, 2017

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Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world has been devastated by civil war between supporters of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels. The conflict, ignited by a failed political transition and Shia extremism, has Yemen on the edge of complete collapse.

Prior to the violence that has left 17 million people food insecure and 70 percent of the population in need of humanitarian assistance, Yemen was already crippled by widespread poverty, poor governance, weak rule of law, and a poor human rights climate. Today, political and economic institutions are barely functioning, the public economic sector has screeched to a halt and almost half of all health facilities are non-functional. Exacerbating the dire situation in Yemen is a cholera epidemic with that has no signs of being curtailed.

A bacterial infection spread by feces contaminated water, cholera has run rampant through the collapsed state as garbage piled up and sewage systems are incapacitated. Reliance on polluted wells for drinking water and heavy April rains have only worked to accelerate the spread of illness.

Two waves of the disease have ravaged Yemen, first in October 2016 and again from the end of April to July 2017. In the last three months, Cholera has claimed the lives of almost 2,000 people and infected more than half a million. The cholera crisis in Yemen has been characterized as one of the globe’s largest outbreaks in the last 50 years. In developed countries, cholera is not life-threatening, but with malnutrition so prevalent, vulnerable demographics like children and the elderly are susceptible to fatality. Infection numbers have experienced a slight drop-off, but aid organizations are unable to replace the health services and vital infrastructure the government has failed to maintain. Thus, unless the war ends there is little chance for significant improvement.

The United Nations has called the state of Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as more than 10 million people require immediate assistance. UN-brokered peace talks have reached a stalemate, and neither of the warring parties has expressed any interest in compromise or agreement. It is estimated that Yemen needs $2.3 billion in humanitarian aid this year, but only 41 percent of that number has been received.

Saudi Arabia, United Araba Emirates, and the United States are major donors that have been criticized for their concentration on the supply of arms and the war effort rather than civilian well-being. Even if the war ends and Yemen’s political stability returns, without a healthy population, the country will be unable to harness the power of its citizens to recover from the ruins of war.

Further Reading:

Yemen Crisis: Who is Fighting Whom?

Crisis Overview


‘It’s a Slow Death’: The World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

Cholera Situation in Yemen, July 2017


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