By: C. Paixão
Yemen’s Civil War, now completing 7 years of ongoing fighting, started in 2014, when the Shiite rebels - Houthi insurgents- took control of Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a, demanding a decrease in fuel prices and a new government. As Yemen failed to comply to these demands, the rebels seized the presidential palace in January 2015. This eventually led to the forced resign of President Abu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government. In September 2015, President Hadi revoked his resignation and returned to Aden; fighting has continued since in Yemen.
“Yemen is still one of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world- more than half of Yemen’s population is unable to access food for survival, and the rate of poverty and hunger is increasing every day”, says IRC economic recovery and development manager Ebtihal Ghanem. In 2021, the armed conflict in Yemen escalated to Ma’rib Governorate and new areas like al-Bayda.
Yemen is a case study of the long-term consequences of prolonged conflict, which have gradually destroyed livelihoods and critical systems that people cannot live without in the six years since a Saudi-led coalition intervened to support the IRG against Ansar Allah (AA), also known as the Houthis. Due to the heavily restricted access to resources in various areas, aid organizations are unable to help Yemen’s population.
“The world must not forget Yemen is facing a critical humanitarian crisis due to seven years of war. Despite seven years of destruction, ordinary Yemenis are still hoping for peace”, says Aisha, a 10-year-old girl who now lives in Sahdah camp in southwest Yemen after she and her family were forced to flee their home due to violence.
Needs are expanding across Yemen, not only on the frontlines of the conflict, but indicating that the war's economic effects are becoming the primary concern. Specifically, 15.6 million people are currently living in extreme poverty. Inflation is rising, especially in southern Yemen, where one US dollar was worth 1,670 Yemeni rials in December 2021, an increase of 140 percent as of the start of the year.
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