How the Saudi Blockade is Starving Yemen

Yemen's Civil War has carved the country

into battling factions and now it's

virtually sealed off from the outside

world because of a blockade imposed by

Saudi Arabia

this is Yemen's main port and shipyard

now almost empty of containers that

means essential goods are not reaching a

nation that relies almost entirely on

imports for food fuel and medicine eight

million people one-fourth of the

population are at risk of starvation

here's how a blockade compounds a crisis

in the country already strangled by war

first why is there a blockade Yemen is

essentially the battleground for a

regional proxy war on one side is

Yemen's official government backed by

Saudi Arabia on the other is a rebel

group called a Houthis backed by Iran in

November Houthis fired a missile at the

Saudi capital Riyadh the Saudis

retaliated by imposing a total land air

and sea blockade on Yemen it effectively

locked in 28 million people and locked

out everything the blockade was partly

lifted to allow in humanitarian aid but

not commercial imports but the vast

majority of essential goods come in on

commercial ships so today there isn't

nearly enough food or fuel coming in or

going around where is the effect of the

blockade most visible let's look again

at Yemen's largest port her data around

80% of imports arrived through it and

two-thirds of the population live in the

areas directly served by it but because

it's in an area controlled by the rebels

the Saudis have a tightly controlled a

review of marine traffic shows the

arrivals of ships and her data dropped

by half in November and these satellite

photos show an active shipyard one year

ago right before the blockade and now

the port is almost empty one key

shipment not getting through her data is

few aid organizations we spoke to say

the fuel shortage is setting off a

vicious circle of suffering these aid

groups are warning of a reduced ability

to deliver food and aid reduce access to

pumped and purified water and a struggle

to keep generators on at hospit

fuel prices have doubled since the start

of December fuel is especially needed to

deliver water across one of the driest

countries on earth

earlier this year water shortages

triggered a cholera epidemic that

affected nearly 1 million and now water

is unaffordable for two-thirds of the

country prompting fears of other disease

outbreaks Yemen's war is a humanitarian

crisis is it also a crime that's what

NGOs and humanitarian groups are

examining it's against the laws of war

to restrict humanitarian assistance and

destroy objects essential to survival

and using starvation as a method of

warfare is also a war crime what is the

USS role in all of this the US isn't

directly striking Yemen but it's the

main supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia

Yemenis have often found fragments of

american-made munitions after deadly air

strikes in a short statement this month

President Trump called in the Saudis to

allow essential goods enter Yemen it was

a rare rebuke to a key ally but for now

there appears to be no end in sight to

the blockade or the conflict