‘Few months left before they starve’: Oxfam adviser tells RT famine is ‘the real enemy’ in Yemen

‘Few months left before they starve’: Oxfam adviser tells RT famine is ‘the real enemy’ in Yemen
Millions of people in Yemen are being “willfully starved” by both the warring parties on the ground and the foreign backers blocking supplies and aid, an Oxfam adviser told RT, calling on international community to urgently address the dire humanitarian crisis.

There are currently 7 million people “on the brink of famine” in Yemen, with the alarming situation being the result “of the fighting and of the bombing,” the international humanitarian organization Oxfam’s adviser in the Middle East, Richard Stanforth, said in an interview with RT this week.

There are just “a few months” left before mass starvation, Stanforth said, appealing to the international community to “wake up to the crisis” and act promptly, addressing both the urgently needed ceasefire and the plight of the population.

“We actually spoke to 2,000 people just before Christmas and nine out of 10 of them said that they’ve no longer got any food. There were some horrible stories. One person said he was going to try and sell his kidney as he hadn’t got any money for food. When you leave your home, when you flee, you’ve got nothing left basically. There’s no more job, you leave your farms. It’s a horrible situation,” Stanforth said. “I speak to colleagues on a daily basis, and even they are struggling to get by.”

“The Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Yemen for two years now, and we’ve seen 50,000 casualties, several thousand deaths including many, many children. That’s forced over 3 million people to leave their homes,” Stanforth said.

Describing the dire situation in the war-ravaged country, the Oxfam adviser added that “in addition” to the coalition airstrikes, “there are fighters on the ground who have killed many people, and also stopped aid agencies like [Oxfam] from delivering aid,” including some cases when aid workers have been detained.

7mn people face starvation as Yemen heads towards man-made famine – Oxfam https://on.rt.com/86vh 

“Some of the international backers of the Saudi-led coalition have been blockading the country, they’ve been stopping food and other supplies from getting into Yemen’s ports,” he added.

“Everybody involved [in the Yemen conflict] is at fault, all parties. Yemenis themselves are at fault, as they are thinking more about the fighting and their military gains, and their attacks on ports and other places are stopping aid. And then all the international backers, they are at fault as well. They are not allowing aid through like it should come, and they are also bombing the country, they are starving Yemen,” Stanforth said, adding that the situation is “heartbreaking.”

READ MORE: Infant deformities in Yemen linked to Saudi-led bombardment (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

“It’s startling that we’ve got so little funding when the crisis is the world’s largest,” Stanforth said, criticizing the international community for the “lack of urgency” in regard to the situation in Yemen.

Over $2 billion are needed “right now” for aid efforts in the war-torn country, the Oxfam adviser said, adding that governments around the world have only given 7 percent of the aid that’s needed.

Having praised Russia’s and France’s recent efforts in the UN Security Council for “coming out and pressing for an immediate ceasefire,” the Oxfam adviser at the same time criticized some of the western countries’ policy in regard to the crisis in Yemen.

READ MORE: Yemenis ‘pay the price’ for UK and America’s ‘brazenly hypocritical’ arms deals – Amnesty

“It’s really urgent that a solution is found, that peace is found, that governments stop selling weapons, they have to stop selling weapons to the different parties in the conflict. The US, the UK for example – the UK has given over $3.3 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia, and that’s being used to bomb Yemen and many people have died as a result,” Stanforth said.

Severely malnourished Yemeni children in urgent need of help filmed by RT Arabic (DISTURBING IMAGES) http://dlvr.it/N8wysP 

What is making the situation even worse is that there is a lack of awareness of the Yemeni crisis internationally.

“There is a problem because journalists are being refused entry to Yemen, and that means you don’t get stories in the news like we should have… We need journalists to be allowed in, just like aid workers need to be allowed in. We need to be able to take photos, so people can just see how awful the situation is,” the Oxfam adviser told RT.

READ MORE: UN: ‘People will starve to death’ as world faces largest humanitarian crisis since WWII

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Turkey summons Swiss ambassador over anti-Erdogan rally in Bern

Turkey summons Swiss ambassador over anti-Erdogan rally in Bern
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swiss ambassador to Ankara over a protest in Bern targeting Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The protest had Kurdish groups among its organizers.

The ambassador, Walter Haffner, was told that Turkey expects the Swiss authorities to bring the organizers of the protest to justice and to prevent such “incidents” in the future.

“We are protesting this rally that explicitly promoted violence and terrorism and has been permitted, and we ask Switzerland to take immediate legal action against this offense,” the ministry said in a statement late March 25, as cited by the Turkey’s Hurriyet daily.

The demonstration, which was held on Saturday in central Bern, was attended by some 3,000-3,500 people, the Swiss media report, citing the event’s organizers. The protesters marched through the city center and then held a rally in front of the federal parliament building.

They were chanting anti-Erdogan slogans and were holding numerous placards that read, “For Democracy in Turkey.” They also expressed their opposition to the constitutional changes advocated by Erdogan ahead of the April referendum.

The Turkish authorities insist that the rally held in front of the Swiss Federal Parliament building in the city Bern was organized by the members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C).

According to the Swiss media, the rally was organized and supported by more than 30 various organizations, including the Swiss Social Democratic Party and the Green Party, as well as some Kurdish groups.

Some demonstrators were indeed holding the PPK flags as well as flags and placards featuring the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan.

The PKK, which was designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU, is not on the list of terrorist organizations in Switzerland.

A particularly angry reaction from Turkish officials was provoked by a placard featuring Erdogan with a gun pointed at his head and the slogan, “Kill Erdogan with his own weapons.” It was held by members of a leftist autonomous NGO called the Revolutionary Youth Group, which describes itself as an “anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian” group.

Der schweizerische Botschafter muss wegen der AntiErdogan Demo in Bern bei Erdogan in Ankara antraben. Und es tut uns nicht leid..

Erdogan himself specifically addressed this issue during a rally in Istanbul on Sunday, Reuters reports.

“Switzerland took it a step further. Their leftist parties and the terrorists … have come together and carried out a march. In the Swiss parliament, they hang my picture with a gun to my head. The Swiss parliament remains silent in the face of this,” he said, referring to a war of words that broke out between Turkey and some European countries that banned Turkish officials from holding rallies on their territory in support of the Turkish constitutional changes ahead of the referendum scheduled on April 16.

The rally was attended by some members of the Swiss Social Democratic Party and the Green Party as well as by the head of the Swiss Association of Trade Unions, Paul Rechsteiner. A Turkish MP from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Feleknas Uca, delivered a speech at the gathering, according to Hurriyet.

The Turkish referendum in April will propose amendments to the constitution that will make Erdogan the sole executive head of state, with the authority to choose his own cabinet ministers, enact laws, call elections, and declare states of emergency.

The referendum and particularly Turkish officials’ attempts to hold meetings with Turks living in Europe ahead of it have already become a source of tensions between Turkey and some European countries.

Pro-referendum rallies, which were canceled in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, provoked an angry reaction in Turkey, who accused the EU of “selective democracy and xenophobia.” Turkey also engaged in a diplomatic row with the Netherlands after the Dutch authorities barred to Turkish ministers from attending pro-Erdogan rallies.

Thousands take to streets in opposition rallies across Russia (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Thousands take to streets in opposition rallies across Russia (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
A wave of protests inspired by the opposition activist Aleksey Navalny, some green-lighted and some not by the local authorities, took place across Russia.

READ MORE: Hundreds detained at unsanctioned opposition rally in central Moscow (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

The biggest of them took place in Moscow. There some 8,000 people took part and some 600 people were detained by police.

In St. Petersburg, police estimated the number of participants in the opposition event at around 3,000.

The local police’s press service told Interfax news agency, that 131 people were detained during the rally. Four of them were facing administrative action for minor violations.

In most of the opposition rallies on Sunday, police released those detained shortly afterward. The usual procedure for such cases of detention (which is not an actual “arrest”) is to identify the individuals for potential administrative action and then release them.

In Vladivostok, where nearly 500 people took part in the protest, 25 activists are facing administrative charges, according to police.

The rally in Novosibirsk, which was sanctioned by the local authorities after a court ordered them to overturn a ban, attracted around 1,500 people, according to the mayor’s office.

At another sanctioned event in Tomsk, around 400 protesters showed up, according to local law enforcement.

In Irkutsk, around 300 people protested without any incidents, as was the case in Belgorod, in which an estimated 150 people took part.

In Krasnodar, an organizer of the unsanctioned rally was detained after one of the protesters threw a smoke stick at a group of people standing nearby, but otherwise no violations were reported.

Приехал из Адыгеи поддержать Краснодар.Погода не помеха,гуляем по городу @navalny

In Saratov, several opposition rallies in different parts of the city gathered around 400 people in all. In Kazan, an unsanctioned rally was conducted with police choosing not to intervene, but warning protesters of potential consequences.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

4 минуты назад начался митинг в Екатеринбурге @navalny

Navalny, who is known in Russia as anti-corruption and opposition activist, called on his supporters to protest on Sunday, weeks after releasing a report alleging corruption involving Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. He accused the head of the Russian government of personal enrichment through embezzlement.

He himself also tried to take part in a large unsanctioned rally in central Moscow but was detained shortly after arriving at the scene.

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