Head of UN food agency says 13 million people in Yemen headed toward starvation
The head of the U.N. food agency said that 13 million people in Yemen face starvation amid a years-long civil conflict.
David Beasley told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday that Yemen is “in a very bad situation” and that food supplied by World Food Program (WFP), the food assistance branch of the U.N., is depended on by more than 40 percent of Yemen’s population already.
“We’re feeding 13 million people out of a nation of 30 million people, and we are running out of money,” Beasley told the AP.
Beasley said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the issue of starvation globally, with 285 million people battling starvation across the world.
“We’ve got twice the number of people struggling around the world now. So, what am I gonna do for the children in Yemen? Steal it from the children in Ethiopia, or Afghanistan, or Nigeria or in Syria? That’s not right,” Beasley said.
The U.N. official added that the WFP has already had to halve rations for eight million Yemenis as a result of a lack of funding.
“We may be cutting those down to zero. What do you think will happen? people will die. It will be catastrophic,” Beasley said.
Beasley added that the WFP needs an additional $9 billion to address the demand for food around the world.
“The $430 trillion worth of wealth in the world today, there should not be a single child dying anywhere on earth,” he said.
His comments come after the Biden administration earlier this week issued sanctions targeting the international business network that funds Yemen’s Houthi rebels and their attacks on civilians in Yemen and the Persian Gulf in an effort to bankrupt funds prolonging the country’s seven-year civil war.