A silent world watches as Yemen stands at the brink of collapse

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Syed Tahir Rashdi
The war in Yemen has left 24 million, more than two-third of the population, dependent on aid; 18
million people need water, sanitation and hygiene; more than 20 million people are food insecure;
137,000 cases of cholera and diarrhoea have been recorded, with nearly a quarter occurring in children
under 5. The sound of silence on Yemen is deafening. As countries grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic
and the social and political upheavals caused by Black Lives Matter, it is regrettable that the country
facing the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world”, as per the United Nations, has been forgotten, with
the world turning a blind eye to it. According to a multitude of UN agencies such as WFP, UNOCHA and
UNICEF: the war in Yemen has left 24 million, more than two-third of the population, dependent on aid;
18 million people need water, sanitation and hygiene; more than 20 million people are food insecure;
137,000 cases of cholera and diarrhoea have been recorded, with nearly a quarter occurring in children
under 5. The list doesn’t stop there. Over 100,000 people, more than 12,000 of them civilians, have
been killed; this death toll does not include deaths caused by famine and hunger. Between 2015 and
2018, it was estimated by Save The Children that 85,000 children under the age of 5 may have died of
hunger and disease. If UN fundraising goals are not met, then 30 of the 41 UN-supported programs will
be shut down in July, leaving 4 million people, half of them children, without access to clean water. The
Black Lives Movement and the massacre of Yemen are both important, but voices have only been raised
for the former. Why? Because South Asian communities alone are more vocal about Western causes and
often remain silent on atrocities being carried out in the Middle East. The attention directed at Yemen is

extremely disproportionate compared to not just the BLM movement, but in comparison to every other
movement or problem in the West. Yemen isn’t only fighting a war with the pandemic, it is teetering on
the edge of a collapse compounded by the world’s collective silence and neglect.