|Mohammed is one of thousands of malnourished children in Yemen. His family brought him to hospital because he is 2 years old, starving to death, and cannot sit up on his own. Source: Norwegian Refugee Council.|
Yemen has the bad fortune to be located in a strategically important spot their powerful U.S.-allied neighbor aspires to control. Thus it has been bombed and blockaded for close to three years now. Hospitals are forced to close because they cannot get the energy needed to operate.
|At a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen's capital, children are treated for cholera and dehydration. Source: The Guardian|
Besides malnutrition, the children of Yemen are suffering from a cholera epidemic.
Reportedly the worst cholera epidemic in history, spreading rapidly. By the end of this month about one million people will be affected. Up to 600,000 children are suffering from this deadly, preventable disease.
As reported in The Guardian, Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s country director for Yemen, said an epidemic like this is, “what you get when a country is brought to its knees by conflict, when a healthcare system is on the brink of collapse, when its children are starving, and when its people are blocked from getting the medical treatment they need...There’s no doubt this is a man-made crisis. Cholera only rears its head when there’s a complete and total breakdown in sanitation.”
Amani, 12, from Taiz lost her father and has been displaced ever since. "The clashes got intense and we were the last family to escape from the village. We fled to a safer place and knew our father was a little way behind us when a shell hit and killed him. He died on the spot but we did not know. We kept calling his phone but got no answer and only later we heard he was dead. Everything is bad about fleeing your home: here there is no water, no firewood, we have nothing. Back home we had everything. I used to go to school, but now I cannot. I am afraid of the war; the scariest thing is hearing the bombs, the shotguns and the shells. We were terrified. We were hiding in our room and fearing death."What is the U.S. role in the war terrifying Amani and her family?
The American military is refueling Saudi jets midair as they’re bombing civilians and there have been plenty of reports, I mean, it’s not a secret that the Saudis are indiscriminate in their targeting. They’ve targeted hospitals, and homes, and schools, and it’s well-documented. The U.S. military has continued to refuel their jets midair. They’ve provided intelligence. They’ve provided logistical support. This is besides the *weapon deals...Dr. Mariam Aldogani, health advisor to Save the Children in Yemen, gave her analysis as reported in The Guardian:
All the NGOs are trying to increase the knowledge of how to prevent the disease, because it’s preventable, you have to boil the water. But if you don’t have money to buy gas, and you have to walk a long way to get the wood, how can you boil the water?
The war is a big problem for us, it’s a wound. But with the cholera, you have the wound and you put salt in the wound. It hurts. I hope this war can be stopped.
We need peace for the children of Yemen.What to do? You could share this blog post or other information about facts on the ground in Yemen.
And, if you're not too busy decrying class warfare in U.S. as the kleptocracy's tax bill goes to a vote this week, you could call Congress to let them know Yemeni children are not forgotten: (202) 224-