Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature The BMJ Christmas 2018 Appeal

Yemen: how to help a country starving to death

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 24 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l329
  1. Richard Hurley, features and debates editor
  1. The BMJ
  1. rhurley{at}

Doctors of the World brings healthcare to the most vulnerable people, including millions facing famine in Yemen. It also campaigns for an end to the war. As The BMJ appeal closes for this year, readers have generously donated almost £14 000, and there’s still time to give more. Richard Hurley reports

After more than three years of fighting between Saudi Arabian backed government forces and rebel groups, 22 million men, women, and children—over two thirds of Yemen’s population—are at risk of starvation.

“Without ending this war, all the aid in the world can’t solve this problem,” says Wafa’a AlSaidy, a Yemini pharmacist and general coordinator in the country for Doctors of the World, speaking to The BMJ from Sana’a.

“The country is under siege. There is no fuel for people to attend, or bring their children to, health facilities.

“The situation is even worse than what you see in the media. It’s catastrophic.”

The traumatised population lack fuel, food, and water and is at risk of violence and outbreaks of infectious disease such as cholera. Healthcare facilities have been targeted …

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