Throughout 2016, the UN High Commission for Refugees counted 3,936 airstrikes in Yemen. The newly released figures for the first half of 2017 show that previous figure, which covered an entire year, is already far surpassed, with 5,676 airstrikes launched by the end of June.
This has turned an already catastrophic humanitarian situation, with thousands killed in airstrikes, into an ever-mounting disaster, with the new strikes killing yet more civilians, and strikes so intense in some areas as to displace much of the civilian population elsewhere in the country.
Being an internally displaced person isn’t great wherever you are, but in Yemen it’s all but a death sentence, as a Saudi naval blockade is keeping food and medicine shipments in the country to a bare minimum, worsening a cholera epidemic and leaving much of the population on the brink of starvation.
Aid group Oxfam estimated that over 500,000 children in Yemen are already suffering from “severe malnutrition” because of the blockade, and there are no signs of that situation improving any time soon. Indeed, Hodeidah, the last port that has access to the country’s north, is nearly constantly under siege, with the Saudis seeking to transfer it to the control of the country’s southern government.