Photo: Nuha Mohammed/NRC

Imminent famine in Yemen

Published 15. Oct 2018
Statement by Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council

“Civilians in Yemen are not starving, they are being starved. Let it be known that the worst famine on our watch is wholly manmade by Yemen’s conflict parties and their international sponsors. 

Yemen has long been bombarded with airstrikes and subjected to strangling tactics of war. Mass starvation is a deadly byproduct of actions taken by warring parties and the nations propping them up. The way the war is waged has systematically choked civilians by making less food available and affordable to millions of people.

Humanitarians are losing the battle against famine because the only way to reverse this fatal trend is a political solution to the current stalemate. It is still possible to avert a historical-scale famine if action is taken this month. It would be unforgivable if the US, UK, France and Iran do not demand the following:

First, an immediate ceasefire that includes an end to air-raids and shelling by all sides.

Second, agreement from warring factions to sit down at the table and agree on a political solution through UN mediation.

Third, the implementation of measures that will rapidly revive Yemen’s economy and allow the free flow of civilian imports and humanitarian aid into and across Yemen. 

Parties to this conflict already have blood on their hands and now risk bearing responsibility for a famine affecting millions.”