Yemen Current Affairs - 2019

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US House votes to end American involvement in Yemen’s Civil War

The US House of Representatives has voted to end US involvement in Yemen’s civil war. The resolution to end the American Involvement in the civil war was approved by 247 to 175 votes. The resolution directs the US President to remove US Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen within 30 days. The resolution rejects the US Presidents support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

Yemen Civil War

  • The roots of the civil war can be traced to the failure of a political transition which was supposed to bring stability to Yemen following an Arab Spring uprising which forced the longtime authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, in 2011.
  • President Hadi struggled to deal with a variety of problems, including attacks by jihadists, a separatist movement in the south, continuing loyalty of security personnel to Saleh, as well as corruption, unemployment and food insecurity.
  • The Houthis and security forces loyal to Saleh in a bid to regain power attempted to take control of the entire country, forcing Mr Hadi to flee abroad in March 2015.
  • Alarmed by the unfolding events which they believed to be backed militarily by regional Shia power Iran, Saudi Arabia and eight other mostly Sunni Arab states began an air campaign aimed at restoring Mr Hadi’s government.
  • The war has led to a military stalemate. Even though the government and the Houthis agreed to a ceasefire, they are yet to start withdrawing, raising fears that the deal will collapse.

Even though the resolution has been passed with an overwhelming majority at the House of Representatives, Mr Trump is expected to veto the legislation. White House has called the resolution as flawed and warned it would harm bilateral relations in the region.

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2019 Global Report on Food Crises

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) makes the following observations in the 2019 Global Report on Food Crises report:

  • More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced “acute hunger” last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region.
  • Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine.
  • African Nations were “disproportionally” affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger.
  • The key factors which drove the hunger were Conflict and insecurity along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods.
  • In countries on the verge of famine, up to 80 per cent of the populations were dependent on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture.
  • The strain put on countries hosting a large number of refugees, including war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar has been highlighted in the report.
  • The overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger. This reduction in numbers was partially owed to the fact that some countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, for instance, were less affected by weather disasters that had struck in previous years.
  • The year-on-year trend of more than 100 million people facing famine was unlikely to change in the face of continued crises.
  • High levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern.

The Global Food Crises Report is an annual study launched three years ago which takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties in tackling hunger.

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