Covid-19 and Hunger Threaten Yemeni Residents

Yemen is still riddled with conflict. The situation has been worsened by the flooding and pandemic that hit Yemen in the first quarter of 2020 made its citizens more vulnerable to starvation.

People in the city of Sana’a were queuing enthusiastically for food packages. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, YAMAN - Since 2014, Yemen has been devastated by civil war that leads to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As the war rages on, the Yemenis are facing the threat of COVID-19.

Yemen reported its first COVID-19 case in early April. Aid agencies have warned that the disease could overwhelm the country’s already weakened health system.

The spread of the COVID-19 has divided the focus of the Yemeni Government. As various problems have plagued the country, the Yemeni government has no choice but to to cover up the COVID-19 handling in the country.

"People have been panicking in the City of Sana'a because the authorities have been covering up the COVID-19 cases and not provided information openly to the public. As a result, many people have no choice what to do," stated Said Mukaffiy of Global Humanity Response (GHR) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap.

On April 22, BBC named Yemen as one of five countries that are most at risk from famine in 2020. The prolonged conflict, natural disasters, and pandemic that occurred in the first quarter of 2020 have deteriorated the conditions in Yemen that was already poor even before the war. As a result, more and more residents of Yemen need humanitarian assistance, especially food.

"As conflicts become longer, more and more people become vulnerable", the WFP's Chief Economist and Director of Research, Assessment and Monitoring Division, Arif Husain, told the BBC. "In 2016 in Yemen, we were maybe assisting three or four million people. Today that number is 12 million."

On Friday (4/1), Aksi Cepat Tanggap reached the city of Sana'a to distribute dozens of food packages to poor families.

"This food packages were distributed to the people of Sana'a, especially impoverished families consisting of mothers and children who have no husbands or fathers. As many as 83 families received this assistance," added Said Mukaffiy.

He added that the food assistance has always been delivered for Yemen considering Yemen has a high rate of hunger and malnutrition. “Insha Allah, food aid will continue to be provided for the Yemenis, especially during the pandemic," concluded Said. []