A Million Children Are at Risk of Death by Cholera in Yemen
AlterNet, Aug 2, 2017
The head of the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF), Anthony Lake, arrived in Amman, Jordan after a heart-wrenching tour of war-ravaged Yemen. ‘Stop the war,’ said Lake. It was a clear message. ‘All of us,’ he said, ‘should feel ‘immense pity, even agony, for all of those children and others who are suffering, and they should feel anger, anger that this, our generation, is scarred by the irresponsibility of governments and others to allow these things to be happening.’
The charity group Save the Children said that more than a million children who suffer from acute malnutrition live in the areas where cholera has swept the country.
‘After two years of armed conflict,’ said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s country director for Yemen, ‘children are trapped in a brutal cycle of starvation and sickness.’ Kirolos’ teams in the hardest hit areas find ‘a horrific scenario of babies and young children who are not only malnourished but also infected with cholera.’ The combination is deadly. What lies ahead is apocalyptic: mass deaths of children from a combination of hunger and disease.
In June, UNICEF reported that a Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes. These deaths are not tragedies. They are crimes.
The war in Yemen, prosecuted by Saudi Arabia and its allies and backed with weaponry from the West, has destroyed the country’s food, water and health infrastructure. In January 2016, Saudi aircraft bombed a water desalination plant north of al-Mocha. This bombing run left the million residents of the Yemeni city of Taiz without water. Piped water is no longer an option for most Yemenis. Absence of clean drinking water has helped fuel the cholera epidemic which broke out this March.
Four out of five children in Yemen need some humanitarian aid. Saudi Arabia has blockaded this country and bombed its main port. The country is being isolated into desolation.
60 per cent of Yemen’s population does not know where their next meal will come from. Over 90 per cent of Yemen’s food is imported. With a combination of Saudi Arabia’s blockade, depleted foreign exchange reserves and poverty in the country, food is out of the reach of families.
Saudi Arabia’s war aims can never be met in Yemen. It simply cannot bomb the country into submission and it does not have the ground forces to enter Yemen and defeat the various rebel groups that defy it. Saudi Arabia, by far the best equipped military power in this conflict, now fears the war will move northward into its own territory. Yemeni rebels have fired crude scud missiles into Saudi Arabia and at both Saudi and Emirati ships that enter Yemen’s coastal waters. These attacks show that defeat of Yemen’s resistance to Saudi Arabia is not on the cards.
Meanwhile, the West continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, offering these arms sales as a way to sanctify the war. The West with these sales is utterly complicit in the Saudi-led war.
The West’s complicity extends to the manner in which it has allowed Saudi Arabia to yoke this obscene war with its paranoia about Iran. Saudi Arabia argues that the rebel Houthi group in Yemen is a proxy of Iran and that Houthi capture of Yemen cannot be permitted. It is the impetus for this war.
How to prevent the atrocity that is taking place in Yemen? The war must end. Arms sales by the West must be stopped. A million to two million Yemeni children’s lives are stake.
Здешние политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМ»И» часто нахваливают псевдодемократическую, якобы процветающую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских (государственных) партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США. О таких, как коварный и крайне опасный мошенник, расист, лжец, неофашист и убийца Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как порочный Конгресс, кровавые милитаристы США, нацистские ФБР — ЦРУ, лживые американские СМ”И”…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США