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The people of Yemen cannot wait

An older woman in Yemen, where millions currently face starvation

Published on 28 January 2019 09:00 AM

14 leading aid agencies – including Age International – have warned today in an open letter, published in the Telegraph, that the people of Yemen cannot wait.

Yemen is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 14 million people face starvation. Older people are being forced to sell their homes and belongings, just to survive another day. No one should have to make these impossible choices.

The letter urges the public not to look away, not to forget the Yemeni families on the brink of starvation. You can read the letter in full, below.

Thanks to generous donations from the UK public, Age International has already been able to help families in Yemen. Since 2015, the charity for older people has:

  • Reached more than 56 thousand people with healthcare and conducted over 18 thousand medical consultations.
  • Sent mobile clinics out to remote communities, where many people had not received any medical assistance since the start of the conflict.
  • Donated life-saving drugs and equipment to main referral hospitals, saving numerous lives.
  • Trained volunteers in first aid, to help those Yemenis who cannot get to a clinic or hospital.

Age International recently re-opened their appeal for Yemen, given the increasing urgency of the situation of the ground. An outbreak of cholera in Yemen earlier this year killed more people over the age of 60 than any other age group.

The people of Yemen cannot wait. Today, we stand together and say: enough is enough.

Search #YemenCantWait on Twitter and Facebook, for more information.

A LETTER TO THE TELEGRAPH

Dear Sir,

We the undersigned come together at the start of 2019 to remind the international community that Yemen is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 14 million people are facing starvation and an estimated 85,000 children have already died from extreme hunger since the war escalated in 2015.

Aid workers in Yemen have spoken to parents who say they are forced to give their children contaminated food and water, or nothing at all. Older people are being forced to sell their homes and belongings, just to survive another day. No-one should be forced to make these impossible choices.

There is some hope for the future, with a ceasefire broke red last month in the critical port of Hodeida largely holding and promises to restore vital imports of food and medicine into the country. But sadly, most Yemeni people do not feel this hope.

Aid and commercial goods are not yet flowing in at the level needed to address the unfolding crisis. People are hungry, they are scared and they are desperate.

Aid workers are reaching hundreds of thousands of people now with lifelines, but we simply must see greater action by all parties to allow us to reach more Yemenis before it is too late.

We urge all parties to the conflict to remember that the people of Yemen must come first.

We urge the public not to look away, not to forget the Yemeni families on the brink of starvation.

The people of Yemen cannot wait.

Signed: 

Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director
Action Against Hunger

Girish Menon, CEO
ActionAid UK

Chris Roles, Managing Director
Age International

Michael Adamson, CEO
British Red Cross

Chris Bain, Director
CAFOD

Laurie Lee, Chief Executive
CARE International UK

Amanda Mukwashi, CEO
Christian Aid

Rose Caldwell, Executive Director
Concern Worldwide UK

Tufail Hussain, Interim Director
Islamic Relief UK

Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive
Oxfam GB

Tanya Barron, CEO
Plan International UK

KevinWatkins, CEO
Save the Children

Nigel Harris,CEO
Tearfund

Tim Pilkington, CEO
World Vision UK

Age International in emergencies

Age International is the UK member of the HelpAge global network and a specialist in delivering age-friendly age. Our projects focus on the inclusion of older people and people with disabilities – and are often the only ones to do so.

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Last updated: Jun 06 2019

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