A country of some 25 million people that has long imported over 90% of its food, it wasn’t hard to see that the Saudi Arabian invasion in 2015, and the naval blockade that came along with it, would have a massive humanitarian impact. It has, and as the war keeps escalating, things are getting progressively worse.
UN officials are now saying that much of the country is “rapidly deteriorating,” and that large chunks of the population are on the brink of famine. This is particularly true in northern Yemen, where the naval blockade continues to keep the flow of aid to an absolute trickle.
The only real port left for northern Yemen, which is controlled by the Shi’ite Houthis, is Hodeidah, and recently Saudi-backed officials have suggested that aid shipments should be predicated on the Houthis turning the port city over outright to their forces.
In the midst of this worsening crisis, there is no shortage of escalation, with more and more talk of further escalation, the pro-Saudi forces resisting any peace talks, and the US now talking about getting more deeply involved militarily. Nowhere near so much interest is being shown in escalating the delivery of aid, of course, which is making the situation worse and worse.