A prominent refugee agency has warned that Yemen is facing an irreversible humanitarian catastrophe after over 500 days of Saudi Arabian airstrikes.
Twenty one million people — about 80 percent of the Yemeni population — are in dire need of some manner of aid, said the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in a Monday report.
The Oslo-based humanitarian group noted that some 20 million Yemenis do not have access to clean water and that over 14 million lack access to healthcare.
It added that seven million people in the country are “severely food insecure” and that sanctions imposed on the country by Saudi Arabia have “crippled” Yemen’s economy.
About 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi aggression began in late March 2015. Yemenis say most of the victims in the Saudi airstrikes are civilians. The attacks by Riyadh are meant to reinstate the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
“Time is running out before the catastrophe will be irreversible,” said NRC secretary general Jan Egeland.
The group’s Yemen director, Syma Jamil, noted that “the situation for Yemenis keeps deteriorating and it is now untenable. Yemenis won’t be able to cope for much longer.”
“Despite the staggering figures of ordinary Yemenis suffering because of the raging conflict, the outside world has kept its eyes shut to this crisis,” she added.