With the conflict in Yemen showing no signs of abating, close to 14 million people in the war-ravaged country are in desperate need of food and supplies. To make matters worse, the Arab country is witnessing one of the worst cholera epidemics in the world. In the interim, the Iranian-backed Al Houthis, who overran Sana’a in an alliance with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces, have begun to face difficulty in the battlefield. Latest reports suggest that the frustrated Iranian-backed militias have resorted to disrupting educational facilities “with the aim of achieving their control and governance”. Efforts have been made to change curricula in Yemen schools to push pro-Iran agenda.
Already in a severe grip of cholera, that affected more than 300,000 people since April this year, Yemen appears on the brink. Nearly 5,000 new cases of cholera are reported across the country every day with children making up 40 per cent of the cases. It is a shame that a bacterial infection that can be treated by using oral rehydration solution and vaccination has been allowed to spiral out of control. Yemen needs immediate mobilisation of funds to cover its acute humanitarian needs and stem the epidemic.
United Nations must take an active role to prevent the condition in Yemen from deteriorating any further. The world body must back the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and lean much more heavily and effectively against Al Houthis in order to end the sufferings of Yemenis. Al Houthis must be pressurised to end hostilities and resume peace talks. With rifts between pro-Saleh loyalists and Al Houthis wide open, it is also time for forces loyal to the legitimate government to make a more concerted push towards a military breakthrough.