US responsible for Yemen disaster: NYT

Updated December 27, 2018

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The US is currently abetting in a humanitarian disaster that could ultimately rival those in Syria and Iraq in its destabilising impact on the region and the world, according to the newspaper. ─ File photo
The US is currently abetting in a humanitarian disaster that could ultimately rival those in Syria and Iraq in its destabilising impact on the region and the world, according to the newspaper. ─ File photo

NEW YORK: America’s fingerprints are all over the war in Yemen, the New York Times said on Wednesday.

The US is currently abetting in a humanitarian disaster that could ultimately rival those in Syria and Iraq in its destabilising impact on the region and the world, according to the newspaper.

More than 10,000 people have been killed over the past three years in the civil war pitting the Houthi rebels against Saudi-backed government loyalists.

The tens of thousands of deaths may represent only a fraction of the total victims and the US government seems to be “doing everything it can to make things worse”, an article published in NYT said.

International aid agencies have warned that some 20 million people are at risk of dying of starvation or poverty-related diseases in Yemen and a number of African countries, all of which are facing critical food shortages.

In Yemen alone, Save the Children counts 20.7 million people, half of them children, are in dire need of aid.

A cholera epidemic is raging through the parts of Yemen hit hardest by the war, with at least 360,000 suspected cases. Some 2,000 people have already died because in the epidemic and the number of cases is rising by some 7,000 a day.

Both of these crises are entirely man-made. The famine in Yemen is not a consequence of drought or crop failure because in recent years Yemen has shifted most of its agricultural land to growing the stimulant drug Qat and other cash crops, importing almost 90 percent of its food.

The famine is the result of a two-year blockade imposed on the country by Saudi Arabia with the help of its allies, including the United States, the paper said.

In a deliberate effort to starve the rebel-held areas into submission, the ruthless siege tactics of the Saudi-led coalition are also directly to blame for the cholera outbreak, the NYT wrote.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018