In 2017, the United Nations announced that Yemen was the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world.
This month, the struggle of the Yemeni people resurfaced across social media platforms as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened the country’s condition. Now more than ever, we need to come together and take sustainable action. The conflict in Yemen is complex and has deep roots in war, exploitation, and US involvement. It’s essential to recognize that change cannot happen overnight, but it doesn’t mean helping Yemen isn’t worth our time. With these action items, we can find a way to help the Yemen crisis in the short and long term.
1. Donate to Trustworthy Organizations
When you donate to organizations, be sure their funds make a real and positive impact on Yemeni lives. A common scam is posts on Instagram, which say they’ll give money for every follow. Many organizations, including the UN, have said it’s challenging to get resources on the ground due to the blockade in Yemen. However, there are organizations led by people on the ground, and funds they receive will go a long way! A few places to donate include:
- Mwatana Organization for Human Rights: headquartered in the capital of Yemen and fights for human rights in Yemen
- Yemen Hope and Relief: aims to help as many children as possible suffering from malnutrition
- Mercy Bakery: provides fresh food and food baskets in Yemen
- Yemen Aid: provides general resources to all Yemeni people despite their differences
- Pure Hands: specializes in supplying medical supplies and COVID protection gear to hospitals in Yemen
2. Sign Petitions, it takes less than a minute!
Signing petitions is a way to make noise online and raise awareness. Certain petitions intend to cause short-term change, so it’s essential to understand what you’re signing for and what effect it’s going to have. As the crisis in Yemen is ever-changing, signing petitions to end the war can only go so far. It takes real changes in government action for significant changes to happen. But it doesn’t hurt to sign petitions and share them. Some examples are:
3. Listen! Learn! Educate Yourself!
Understanding the conflict in Yemen is a huge part of making a change. I remember the first time I heard about the crisis in Yemen after my friend took a class about it last year. I was confused as the history of wars in Yemen is extensive and involves many players. I urge you to research the conflict rather than ignoring the issue because it’s complicated. I prefer listening to podcasts, so here are some recommendations:
- Yemen by CONFLICTED (single episode)
- Why US Bombs Are Falling in Yemen by The Daily (single episode)
- Yemen News by Alex Williams (series)
- Whitewashing America’s Role in Yemen by Citations Needed (single episode)
As the Yemen crisis becomes more serious, let’s all remember to focus on the history of conflict in Yemen and what we can do to help. Yemen is currently caught between several wars, and 80% of the population needs some form of humanitarian assistance. The Yemeni people are strong, resilient, and carry invaluable history and culture with them – a history that will be lost if the country doesn’t receive more aid. All of us have the power to learn, share, and donate to help Yemen together.