Yemen, America and Christmas Wishlists

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Earlier this month, the U.N.’s Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock announced Yemen is facing the worst famine the world has seen in decades.

The famine’s roots trace back to an incident in which Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at an airport in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Saudis intercepted the missile before it hit its target, but the attempt has shaken the area politically.

After the missile attempt, Saudi Arabia tightened its blockade on Yemen, preventing food and proper necessities from passing its borders to citizens in need.

The nation has also prevented humanitarian aid workers from landing in Yemen or docking at its ports. Lowcock said he is continuing to push for aid to Yemen, otherwise millions will die from starvation.

According to Lowcock, this potential famine will be like nothing the world has ever seen. To make matters worse, hunger will not be the only threat to citizens of Yemen.

As the body becomes weakened by hunger, it begins to consume itself, making individuals more susceptible to deadly infections and diseases. If hunger does not destroy Yemen, disease will.

Yemen is already facing one of the worst cholera outbreaks with more than 900,000 cases and 2,000 deaths since April. One million cases are expected before the end of the year.

The two-year Yemen war has devastated the country already. Since the war’s beginnings, Yemen has been on the brink of starvation. To make matters worse, more than half the country’s medical facilities have closed, leaving the majority of the country without access to proper medical care.

Meanwhile, the U.S. appears to have its head in the sand.

Media devotes coverage to protests, complaining and criticizing the president but meanwhile, millions of people are expected to die from starvation.

 In a nation where food is just around the corner, in abundance in our grocery stores and our pantries, we far too often turn a blind eye to the needs of our neighbors. We focus on throwing temper tantrums when we do not get our way politically, while people are dying in a nation ravaged by war.

Imagine mass shootings and tragic death tolls being everyday life. That is what a day is like in the lives of Yemen citizens.

Several organizations are asking for support and preparing to help Yemen in whatever way they can. The people in Yemen face the greatest need, however, the people in Yemen are not the only ones in need.

American citizens are also struggling. There are still Americans in need of food, shelter and clothing, especially as the holiday season begins to roll around.

Yemen. America. These are not the only two areas of the world aching for aid. While we sit in our privilege, making Christmas wishlists, people are wondering when they will eat again. Children have no clothing. People are without access to medical care.

Especially this upcoming season, I urge you to take your mind off greed and replace it with need. So many of us have the means to help, whether it is by donating to aid those in Yemen, donating clothing or food or even giving up some of our time to serve at a local shelter.

The majority of us have far more than we need. If we have the means and the ability to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, send aid to the helpless or provide treatment to the sick, why would we hold back?

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