8-month-old Ali, like thousands of other Yemeni children, is severely malnourished

Yemen. Why Doesn’t the World Care?

Yemen is on the verge of extinction. What are we doing?!

Sharika Hafeez
4 min readJun 15, 2020

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War. Famine. Epidemic. Pandemic. Bombs, death, destruction, and in the midst of it all, the monster that carves up your insides and sucks your life little by little, giving you a prolonged, painful death — hunger. Starvation.

Have you seen the devastating photographs of the little Yemeni children, their skin plastered to their bones, their eyes large and pleading? Have you heard them praying for deliverance from God?

We gasp as the tweets pop-up on our timelines because the graphic pictures disturb us. We pretend. We pretend we are disturbed at the state of those children, while in reality, we are only angry that the tweet caught us unawares, that it didn’t come with a trigger warning so we could have scrolled past hurriedly, oblivious as usual.

So for those of you who don’t know — here’s what’s happening in Yemen, and why things are worse than ever before.

Ravaged by a civil war that has killed more than a 100,000 people and displaced millions of others in five years, and flattened the country’s healthcare system — with hospitals lacking beds and basic equipment, and sick people being turned away because there is nothing the care workers could do for them — Yemen is going through the worst humanitarian crisis in the last hundred years.

And the war brought with it a famine so devastating that it has reduced civilians — vulnerable, innocent children making up the majority — to skin and bones. Believe me when I tell you it is not a mere expression.

If you have seen the photographs like I have, if you have spent hours feeling traumatized by them, if you have felt the pain in those eyes that are sunken into their sockets — you would know that no words could ever describe what the Yemeni children are going through.

More than one million women and two million children are malnourished and in dire need of treatment. 360,000 of them are at risk of death. More than 50% of all children in Yemen are stunted because of malnutrition. And what’s more, there’s a cholera epidemic making the rounds, one that is made deadlier due to the alarmingly low levels of immunity among the people.

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Sharika Hafeez

Writer. Physics student. Under the inky-black sky, with a steaming cup of chai in my hands, I watch the stars and I write.