Socialist Worker

Famine and crisis fuelled by the West

Issue No. 2545

The aftermath of a Saudi Arabian airstrike in Yemen

The aftermath of a Saudi Arabian airstrike in Yemen (Pic: Ibrahem Qasim/Wikimedia Commons)

The world faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War. More than 20 million people in four countries face starvation and famine, a senior United Nations (UN) official warned last week.

The emergency situation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Niger was major news for 24 hours. Then it disappeared.

One major reason is that the famines are almost entirely the result of government policies, and the biggest culprits are the US and Britain.

The most widespread suffering is in Yemen. There, 7.3 million people do not know where their next meal will come from and 19 million are in need of humanitarian assistance.

A civil war has been raging for more than two years. The military forces of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other monarchies control the ports.

They are stopping food from reaching the parts of the country they do not rule. Instead of denouncing this, the US and Britain shower Saudi Arabia with arms, and the US Navy helps implement the blockade.

Millions are on the edge of death—not because of drought but because of imperialism.

Meanwhile the UN begs for £3 billion of aid to stop the deaths. Six percent of that has been pledged so far.

Is £3 billion a lot? It’s what the US spends on the military every 72 hours.

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