The latest news that Yemen's suffering is far worse than expected has come as no surprise to many charities and non-government agencies (NGOs) who have been fighting to bring to light the problems that the people are facing on a daily basis for months. However, it appears that the world has turned it back on Yemen, according to the latest report from London charity, Oxfam.
Just back from a fact-finding mission to Yemen, Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB Chief Executive said:
"The scale of suffering for millions in Yemen is staggering with half the country going to bed hungry every night because of astronomical food prices. Since the beginning of the conflict, regular bombing and shelling have forced 2.8 million people from their homes, while the economy is in tatters."
Describing the total lack of comfort, resources and supplies, Mr Goldring highlights that the trip not only opened his eyes to the immense poverty but also to the fact that this is a never-ending cycle and the likelihood of an solution coming fast is non-existent.
"Back in Sanaa, the capital, I've seen damage and destruction, boy solders manning road with guns that was as big as they are. Cars with bullet holes right thought them, but most sadly of all, I have seen ordinary people having to flee their homes and they have had to flee with nothing at all camped on rocks with the minimal food and shelter," Goldring told Sputnik.
Goldring commended the agencies and other charities working in the Yemen for trying to support the people an bring about some kind of normality to their lives. However, he stressed that the situation was not going to get better overnight — people had no food. The struggle in Yemen was different, he said, in comparison to the Syrian conflict. The Yemeni people have been left all alone.
"There are many people who are hungry, the ports have been bombed and food is not getting imported as it was before. Everyone is suffering and it is a sad story of a country that was already the poorest in the Middle East and now the world is looking away. There isn't the challenge like in Syria, the people of Yemen are being left to struggle alone. We have got to do better," Mark Goldring told Sputnik.
Over the past 15 months, more than 6,400 people have been killed. Bombardments, landmines and shelling have destroyed schools, clinics, businesses, farms and markets with one in four companies having closed, and 70 percent of the workforce laid off.
The country's economy is in crisis, with food prices up to 60 percent higher on average than before the conflict, pushing the basics beyond the reach of many. Three million women and children under five are suffering from malnutrition.
According to Oxfam, the solution is obvious — enable Yemen to remain connected to the financial system and help to establish peace in an already volatile situation.
"It's futile to imagine we can help people to survive without securing peace and immediately halting arms sales to all participants of the war. The UK and western powers need to put all efforts into the current peace talks. Governments must also ensure that Yemen remains plugged into the global financial system. It's only government intervention that will restore trade and prevent Yemen falling further into catastrophe," Goldring told Sputnik.