“One Death Every Ten Minutes A Disaster of ‘Horrific Proportions’”
This headline caught my attention; it is from one of the many newsletters I receive in the course of a week. After I received several other article last week concerning Yemen I decided to put some thoughts together for your reflection.
Probably like most Americans I couldn’t find Yemen on a map. Yet according to a number of sources, including David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, "the world's worst humanitarian disaster in 100 years" is taking place in Yemen right now. Reflect on those words for a moment, especially when you consider in the last century we have witnessed genocide and famine on mass scale. It is hard to conceive of what “worst” would entail.
Yemen is a small Middle Eastern country, beset by nearly four years of civil war and it estimated a child dies every ten minutes. According to UNICEF, more than 400,000 children in Yemen are starving and another 1.5 million are acutely malnourished. Since June of this year, 500,000 people have fled their homes. A cholera outbreak has affected well over one million people.
There is a rebel group, pitted against the Yemeni government, backed by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states. Until recently, the U.S. was refueling Saudi planes used in bombing raids in Yemen and our government continues to sell weapons to the Saudis. Bombs that have killed thousands of civilians. Rebel groups continue to block food from entering the country, which causes dramatic price inflation and desperation. The seizing of food aid and interference with humanitarian assistance efforts has contributed to the suffering.
Kevin Hartigan of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has declared, "The humanitarian disaster in Yemen is of horrific proportions.”
I encourage you to do your own research on this issue; it is important and needs our attention. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishop through CRS encourages to do the consider doing the following to save lives in Yemen. Yes, the situation in Yemen seems overwhelming. But we are called to do something in the face of this suffering. Suggested actions include:
- Call both your Senators today asking them to support Senate Joint Resolution 54 which “directs the president to withdraw all U.S. armed forces from coordinating and participating in the movement of Saudi-led coalition forces engaged in hostilities in (and over) Yemen.” The Yemen Peace Project is directing advocates to ask Senators to:
- vote in favor of S.J. Res. 54
- vote against any procedural hurdles thrown in its path
- support a clean vote -- no amendments, no confusion, just a straightforward congressional repudiation of U.S. complicity in Yemen’s conflict. It seems the vote on this resolution will likely happen before Christmas recess. Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121
- Donate to Catholic Relief Services’ efforts, support.crs.org/donate/yemen-crisis
- Pray for the peace negotiations between the warring sides happening right now in Sweden
“A little story from the “Children Are Quick” humor box: Teacher: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago. Winnie: Me!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,