Hospitals Destroyed And Millions Starving: The Crisis In Yemen Is Worsening

A Yemeni boy washes his hands. The civil war that broke out in the country in March 2015 has destroyed hospitals and dried up water sources.Tearfund

As the worst humanitarian crisis in the world continues to rage in Yemen, Christian aid organisation Tearfund today launched an appeal to help the more than 18 million people continuing to suffer.

Nearly three quarters of Yemen's population is is urgent need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the crisis which has been brewing since the start of the Arab Spring in 2011.

The civil war that broke out in March 2015 has destroyed hospitals and dried up water sources. There is little access to food, healthcare and sanitation, and millions are now at risk.

According to the UN, 1.5 million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, 375,000 of whom are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Oxfam warned this week that Yemen will run out of food in just a few months.

"Yemen is being slowly starved to death," said Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB.

"First there were restrictions on imports – including much needed food – when this was partially eased the cranes in the ports were bombed, then the warehouses, then the roads and the bridges. This is not by accident – it is systematic."

In total, more than 1,425 civilians have been killed since the conflict escalated last year, and the majority of these deaths were caused by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, the UN says.

Since July, conditions in Yemen have significantly worsened as a result of flooding and landslides destroying civilian homes.

Tearfund is therefore working through partners on the ground to provide basic necessities.

Teams are distributing hygiene and sanitation packs to alleviate the risk of deadly disease and prevent its spread, and Tearfund will train local people as first aid responders.

Guy Calvert-Lee, deputy lead of Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, said: ''The situation in Yemen is serious, and has been worsening over some time. Massive destruction of medical care facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, has meant there are no hospitals to go to, and millions of people are extremely ill, with recent outbreaks of cholera, dengue and scabies affecting thousands of children.

"Tearfund partners are providing hygiene kits to some of the most vulnerable families to prevent the further spread of disease."