Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hunger crisis aggravates in Yemen

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 16, 2012- At least 10m people in Yemen do not have enough to eat, with 5m of these, a quarter of the population, in need of urgent emergency aid.
According to Finical Times Yemen is in the midst of a severe hunger crisis, with malnutrition rates in some locations comparable to areas of Somalia.
Yemenis resort to marring their daughters to ease the burden the crisis.
"An increase in early marriage has been reported as families marry off their daughters young to ease the burden of the crisis,'' the newspaper said on Wednesday.
While the international community is focusing on threats to international security, it is failing to respond adequately to the growing humanitarian needs in Yemen. Hunger is at risk of becoming a normal part of life in Yemen, while the UN humanitarian appeal for the country is less than half funded. The newspaper added.
Supporting Yemenis affected by the food crisis is essential to break the cycle of food insecurity, poverty and violence in Yemen. We fear the political transition in Yemen could be in jeopardy unless these needs are addressed now. World leaders urgently need to find the political will to respond.
The Friends of Yemen meeting in Riyadh in late May should have provided a key opportunity for senior foreign ministers to map out a better future for Yemen. The decision of key leaders such as UK foreign secretary William Hague and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton not to attend is a worrying sign of a lack of political will and downgrades expectations for international leadership on this critical issue.

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