Join me today in praying for peace in Yemen and for those affected by the country’s humanitarian crisis. My name is Fouad Abou-Rizk and I am a Catholic who writes Humanitarian Prayers to encourage people to pray for those suffering most in our world.
I pray that warring factions in Yemen will seek peace and cease fighting for the sake of the common person who is suffering so much. I pray that civilians will not continue to be made victims. I pray that more negotiations will be held and that Yemen’s war will soon come to a peaceful end.
I pray that famine will be prevented and that you will save each person at risk of death from starvation, malnutrition, and preventable illnesses, especially children and the elderly. I pray that lifesaving and life-preserving care will reach all who need it.
I pray that food will reach the 14 million Yemenis who are acutely food insecure. I pray that the 24 million people in need of humanitarian aid will be provided with what they need to live dignified lives. I pray that those who have been displaced will be given shelter.
I pray for your mercy for those who have died and for their families and loved ones who mourn.
Notes and Explanations
Yemen has been facing a civil war (also featuring foreign actors) since 2014 when the Houthi rebel group overthrew the government, forcing them from the country’s capital, Sanaa. Since then, Yemen’s government, with the support of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have waged a military campaign to take back the parts of the country that they lost control of.
The war has taken an extensive toll on civilians. Out of the country’s 28 million people, 24 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations. It was reported in October that 14 million are at risk of famine. When a country or region is in a state of famine, it means that mass deaths can no longer be prevented. The New York Times published a set of intense articles in November featuring graphic and disturbing photos of starving children.
NGO Save The Children stated recently that they believe 85,000 children may have died of preventable causes, primarily related to hunger since the war began. This essentially means that multiple children starve to death every hour in Yemen. Yemen has also been facing a massive cholera outbreak that had over 280,000 suspected cases in 2018; cholera is a vaccine-preventable and sometimes deadly water-borne illness.
Last month, the Houthi rebels met with the Yemeni government in Sweden for their first negotiations since 2016. After much deliberation, they decided on a ceasefire for the port city of Hodeidah and a mass prisoner exchange. 80% of the country’s aid goes through Hodeidah and keeping the port open and safe is vital to bringing life-saving and life-preserving care and food to the sick and hungry.
This was great news at the time, but peace has not been kept, as fighting remains in and around Hodeidah. Both sides have blamed the other for breaking the peace.
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