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Middle East expert: Yemen is the biggest humanitarian crisis on the planet

Middle East expert Katherine Zimmerman said on Wednesday that the crisis in Yemen is presently the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. 

"Is this the biggest humanitarian crisis on the planet right now? Is that fair to say?" Hill.TV's Buck Sexton asked Zimmerman, who is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, in an interview on "Rising." 
 
"It is fair to say," Zimmerman replied. "As the conflict goes on, the people are suffering, and it's to the point now where we're looking at a cholera epidemic, and massive risk of famine." 
 
"The thing to remember that gets forgotten was that Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Middle East before the war started. Over half the population was at risk even before the conflict, and now what we're facing is 20 million people needing daily assistance," she said. 
 
The conflict in the country began in 2014 after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels took over the capital city,  Sanaa. 
 
A Saudi-led coalition, along with the Yemeni government, went to war against the rebels in 2014. 
 
Yemeni government forces, supported by the Saudi coalition, are now fighting the Houthis to take back the port city of Hodeida, which is a main entry point for food in the country. 
 
The head of aid agency Oxfam America told The Associated Press  that 8.4 million people in the country "are down to one meal per day and don't know where their next meal will come from. One can see that doubling almost very quickly, or immediately, if and when the ports shut down."
 

— Julia Manchester