Geneva, 16 October 2019
World Food Day is internationally marked day of action to tackle global hunger. Every year, international governmental and non-governmental organizations working on food security such as International Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Food Program and others organize activities to raise public awareness about those suffering from hunger and to ensure the need for food security and nutritious diets for all.Food is a basics fur human being, it is fundamental human right. The theme of World Food Day 2019 is “Our Actions Are Our Future. Healthy Diets for A #ZeroHunger World”. On this day, Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties condemns the handicap of the international community to address a drastic situation of famine in Yemen.
The warring parties blinded by their short-term war aims ignore that the Yemeni population faces dangerous levels of famine in addition to the largest outbreak of cholera in recent history. The severe naval and air restrictions coupled with a total blockade on all the borders of Yemen imposed by the Coalition since March 2015 in violation of international humanitarian law is considered killing the population with starvation. For the first time, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) has confirmed pockets of catastrophic hunger in some locations, with 238,000 people affected: estimated 7.4 million people require services to treat or prevent malnutrition, including 3.2 million people who require treatment for acute malnutrition – 2 million
children under 5 and more than one million pregnant and lactating women.1 Article 54(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides that “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.”
The danger of famine is reaching millions of Yemenis. The Arab-led coalition has closed most of the ports in Yemen, allowing the crossing of supplies to “Hadedah” port only in coordination with the United Nations.2 The clashes near Hadidah port cut 600,000 Yemenis off lifeline of, half of them are children, whose life depends on the humanitarian aid coming through this harbour. The Council notes that around 70% of food supplies in Yemen are brought in through this port, including most of the humanitarian aid and fuel. These days, around two-thirds of country’s population of 27 million depends on humanitarian assistance and 8.4 million persons are already at risk of a famine.
Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties continues its call for free flow of food items, fuel, humanitarian and commercial aids to people in dire need in Yemen. Moreover, we insist that all parties to the conflict to provide and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of impartial humanitarian relief for civilians in need, in particular survival items. Parties to conflict should conform with Stockholm accord, hold meaningful peaceful negotiations and take constructive measures to end hostilities.
1 2019 Humanitarian Needs Assessment overview, OCHA, December 2018
2 “Geneva Council For Rights and Liberties warns: Escalation of Fighting In “Hadeda” (Yemen) is Dangerous”, GCRL, 9 July 2018 at http://genevacouncil.com/en/2018/07/09/geneva-council-for-human-rights-and-justice-warns-escalating-fighting-in-hadeda- yemen-is-dangerous/