Yemen is facing what some people are calling “the worst year in the history of Yemen”, with violence and poverty both making their mark on the civilian population, especially in this month of Ramadan.
A wave of suicide bombings yesterday in the country’s southeast killed at least 38 Yemeni soldiers just as they were about to break their daily Ramadan fast.
According to a local news agency, 24 more people, including women and children, were injured in the blasts, with the city’s main hospital broadcasting urgent appeals for blood donations.
To add to the ongoing political crisis in Yemen, civilians are facing an “immeasurable” crisis during the holy month of Ramadan, according to the UN.
On Yemen’s Red Sea coast, temperatures often exceed 40C and erratic electricity supplies make observing the fast – where Muslims refrain from eating or drinking from dawn to dusk – particularly challenging.
Abdu Abdullah Gharefah, a Hudeida resident, told Al Jazeera: “We’re suffering not only poverty, but frequent power cuts and lack of water. This is causing disease to spread among adults and children. Our life is difficult but we’re holding on.”
Since March last year, the Yemen conflict has killed more than 6,400 people and displaced 2.8 million. There are also almost 14 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance.
The UN says food, fuel and medicines are in short supply and that has pushed prices up.
Abdesalam al-Mahtoury, an economic analyst, said: “This could be the worst year in the history of Yemen, … No doubt prices have gone up as a result of the siege that’s been imposed for more than 14 months.”
The UN says imports are still restricted and many cargo ships cannot offload at Yemen’s ports. It is appealing for $1.8bn in aid for Yemen this year. So far, it says, it has received just 17 percent of that.
- Pray for Yemen, for the ceasefire to hold and for peace to come to this nation.
- Pray for those facing ongoing food and water shortages, sickness and poverty across this nation. Pray for clear and safe access for aid convoys to those who most need it, and for fair distribution of the supplies.
- Pray that countries that have pledged to give aid money for Yemen will be true to that commitment.
- Pray for Christians in Yemen, most of whom cannot be open about their faith for fear of death. Pray for them, for encouragement, access to God’s word in their own language, and for their faith and trust in God to be a beacon of hope and light in the darkness.
- Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit over this nation, to bring hope to the hopeless, healing and restoration to the people of Yemen, and that many will encounter Christ during Ramadan and come to know His truth and life.
Psalm 9 vs 18: “But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.”