(The following update was shared from Sana'a, Yemen on December 18, 2017 by Action Against Hunger's Country Director Federico Soranzo.)
It is morning, early morning.
I can hear the voices of the children and the teachers at the school in front of our office: they are practicing some physical exercises before entering their classrooms and starting their daily lessons. I can hear a rooster singing in the sunlight, calling people to attend to their business. I can hear cars on the road nearby.
It sounds like a perfectly normal day in a peaceful country. But it is not.
The ongoing civil war in Yemen is starving its people. The prices for basic daily necessities such as food, fuel, and water have increased by as much as 600 percent. According to humanitarian organizations, 70 percent of Yemen's population lives on less than one dollar per day. The recent blockade of shipments of commercial and humanitarian supplies into Yemen's main ports has crippled business in the country, and has dramatically worsened the quality of life for families, who are now unable to meet their children's most urgent, basic needs for healthcare services and clean water.
Continuous fighting and airstrikes are the daily, dramatic signs of a country torn apart by conflict. Schools in conflict zones have been closed, and many hospitals have been destroyed. Yemen's health system has collapsed, and people trapped by fighting are not able to reach many of the remaining health facilities that are still open and functioning.
People are dying from preventable, easily treatable illnesses and diseases.
Today, more than three quarters of Yemen's population are at risk of famine, and humanitarian organizations cannot reach people in need across many parts of the country due to violence and other political issues.
Conflict has displaced people from their homes; they are desperately seeking safety and opportunities for a better life. Children are worst affected: they are the most vulnerable to severe malnutrition and disease. What kind of life are we offering these innocent children?
This morning, I am watching as the Action Against Hunger team begins to enter our office, ready to start their work day. The voices of the children at the nearby school close to our office are still ringing in the early morning air. It appears to be a normal day in a peaceful country.
But we know that is far from the truth. Life has not been peaceful or safe for the people of Yemen for the past 1,000 days.
December 18th marks 1,000 days since the onset of conflict in Yemen. Read Action Against Hunger's joint call to action urging President Trump, President Macron, and Prime Minister May to broker an immediate ceasefire and end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.