Inside Story

Will international community help avert Yemen famine?

UN says 12 million at risk of starvation amid war and more than $2bn is needed to stop disaster getting even worse.

Famine in Yemen is considered a “real possibility” this year. More than three million people – including 460,000 children – are acutely malnourished and the situation is deteriorating every day.

The UN says 7.3 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal is coming from. The crisis has been brought on by nearly two years of civil war. Iran-backed Houthis have been fighting a Saudi-led coalition.

At least 10,000 people have been killed. The death toll from hunger and disease is much greater. A child under the age of five is dying every five minutes.

The international community is being urged to find $2.1bn to help ease the situation. The majority of the population has only limited access to food and medicine. The UN has described the crisis as “catastrophic” and rapidly deteriorating.

What does it take to help millions of helpless people in a country ravaged by war?

Presenter: Sohail Rahman


Mahjoob Zweiri – associate professor in contemporary history of the Middle East at Qatar University

Ahmed Alibrahim – Saudi affairs specialist

Emma O’Leary – humanitarian access adviser in Yemen for the Norwegian Refugee Council