Haifa*, just 11 months old, was sick and underweight when her mother, Roqea*, brought her into the therapeutic feeding centre in Khalifa hospital, which we support, in Taiz, Yemen.
Health workers examined Haifa, diagnosed her with acute malnutrition and gave her nutritional supplements. She’s started to recover.
Among Yemen’s children today, malnutrition is common. The war means many of them aren’t getting enough food to grow and be healthy. Right now, more than 10 million children like Haifa are only one step away from famine.
Without stopping the war, the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen will only get worse. Children like Haifa will pay the cost.
But there are three things the UK can do right now to help.
1 End military support to the Saudi and Emirati-led Coalition
The scale of airstrikes and ground fighting is causing an unimaginable trauma for Yemen’s children. With half the country’s hospitals destroyed by conflict, a child dies from preventable causes every ten minutes.
Our Government needs to put peace first. That means stop selling arms to the Saudi and Emirati-led led Coalition and start showing that this war needs to end.
2 Secure a ceasefire and get the warring parties back round the negotiating table
The UK is uniquely placed to help bring together this peace process. As the ‘penholder’ at the UN Security Council, the United Nation’s highest body, it’s the UK’s job to use the power of its pen to write the resolutions the Security Council passes.
If the UK does not write those resolutions, the UN cannot pass them.
President Biden has called for a new UN Security Council resolution to demand an immediate ceasefire in Yemen. The UK should make this happen. Because although a resolution by itself won’t change everything, it’s the crucial first step.
The international community is already more or less united its condemnation of the war in Yemen. Now it needs to come together through the UN to urge all the warring parties to agree to a ceasefire and get back around the negotiating table.
The UK has the power to help make this happen.
3 Keep sending life-saving aid to Yemen
Every pound of UK aid that the British people donate to children in Yemen can help save the lives of children like Haifa.
Next month the world will meet in at the Pledging Event in Geneva to decide how much aid it will provide to fight the famine in Yemen.
It’s crucial that the UK increases its donation and does everything it can to avoid what is already the largest humanitarian catastrophe on earth turning into something even worse.
Haifa – the girl at the top of this blog – has started to recover from malnutrition. It’s testament that there’s always hope.
Now the world needs to act fast to give every child in Yemen the chance to believe in the future.
* Names changed to protect identities