How Come Famine has become a Weapon that Rich and Powerful Employ Against the Poor
When famine in certain regions of the world is provoked by natural disasters, these events automatically trigger a universal sense of compassion and the desire to provide every possible means of assistance to those poor souls starving. But when famine is the direct result of certain political games of various financial and military groups in the West, then these facts can only trigger anger and envy toward such manifestations of malicious inhuman practices.
Despite the continuous attempts special interests make to suppress facts about cases of massive famine they’ve provoked, the anger their actions have provoked have manifested itself in the latest UN report on the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of World War II which has put some 20 million people in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria on the brink of death from starvation. As it has been previously reported by the UN Children’s Fund, nearly 1.4 million children face ‘imminent death’ from famine this year alone. Civil wars, military aggression and terrorist activities in the above listed four states have virtually destroyed civil infrastructure, triggering a mass exodus from those states.
Yemen these days is the poorest country in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia, while being backed by the West, has been bombing Yemen for years now, thus creating an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. The UN expresses its concern over the current situation in the country, but we must not forget that the UN Security Council fell victim to Saudi, American and British political intrigues, by adopting resolution 2216, which gave way for the current foreign military intervention in this country.
However, Saudi generals didn’t feel restrained in their interpretation of UN Resolution 2216, which resulted in the closure of the Sana’a international airport and an embargo imposed by the so-called international coalition, which deprived the population of this poor country from access to food and medical supplies. Stocks of grain and other products are disappearing before our very eyes, as foreign banks reject financial transactions from local institutions. As a result, some 14 million people, or basically 80% of the population, are in dire need of food aid, of which 2 million people and 400,000 children are basically facing death from starvation. If there’s any assistance to be provided to Yemen, it must be provided urgently.
In wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that Saudi Arabia along with its Western sponsors are basically sentencing the whole population of Yemen to painful, excruciating death by carrying on with its military aggression against this state.
Should weapon shipments to Riyadh from Washington and London come to an abrupt end, the Kingdom will have no means of carrying on its aggression, since it relies heavily on aerial bombardment which is not just destroying Yemeni military capabilities, if there’s any to speak of, but roads and other civilian infrastructure. Should Riyadh lose the ability to carry out air strikes, it will be bound to stop. In the meantime, in the period of 2015-2016 it acquired a record amount of ordnance, the total worth of which amounts to some 150 billion dollars. The only steps the US and UK have made so far to allegedly prevent millions of people from death from starvation was a minor reduction in the number of military personnel deployed in Yemen to assist the Saudi coalition.
The northeast of Nigeria has been terrorized for years by a brutal terrorist group Boko Haram, which claimed the lives of some 20,000 people, resulting in 2.6 million people fleeing their homes in search of refuge. According to UN reports, some 75,000 children in Nigeria may soon die of starvation, while another 7.1 million people in Nigeria and in the Chad basin are facing famine due to rapidly diminishing food storages.
As a result of the armed conflict caused by religious strife, struggle for natural wealth and ethnic superiority, the country has witnessed an abrupt decline in the level of agricultural production. About 3.4 million residents of Southern Sudan have already been displaced, while 200,000 fled the country. More than a quarter million children are facing famine. According to the UN World Food Programme, some 100,000 inhabitants of Southern Sudan are facing imminent death from starvation, with another million being at the point of exhaustion. The situation may turn from bad to worse rapidly if the country doesn’t start receiving humanitarian aid in sufficient volumes today.
In Somalia, climate change is creating preconditions for a new catastrophe. In 2011, a terrible famine provoked by environmental catastrophe has already caused 260,000 deaths. This situation is being aggravated even further by foreign military intervention launched by the United States, Ethiopia, Kenya and the growing influence of the terrorist group Al-Shabab.
But those countries are not the only ones that are facing famine, similar crises may be soon observed in other states that have fallen victim to Western military interventions and the failure of its policies, along with confessional and religious conflicts. We are speaking about such states as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Niger, Burundi, Mali and many others.
We must not forget that famine has nothing to do with supernatural misfortune, since in most cases it is the direct result of prolonged armed conflicts, which are being driven by powerful international players all across the world.
Grete Mautner is an indepenent researcher and journalist from Germany, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”