Oxfam: Yemen most at risk of virus-related hunger

Children of Abdullah Al-Sharaabi, a Yemeni who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stand outside their home in Aden, Yemen July 1, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 09 July 2020

Oxfam: Yemen most at risk of virus-related hunger

  • Yemen was ranked as the country most at risk of a hunger crisis
  • The economic shock to the Gulf caused by COVID-19 and unprecedented slumps in the oil industry also had an impact on Yemen

LONDON: Yemen and Syria are among the countries most at risk of hunger crises in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Oxfam report titled “The Hunger Virus: How COVID-19 is Fuelling Hunger in a Hungry World.”

Yemen was ranked as the country most at risk of a hunger crisis, with Oxfam saying 15.9 million people, or 53 percent of the population, could face starvation.

The report cited how conflict had damaged the country’s infrastructure and its ability to both produce and import food.

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READ MORE: UN warns Yemen on brink of famine again

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The economic shock to the Gulf caused by COVID-19 and unprecedented slumps in the oil industry also had an impact on Yemen, with financial support through remittances and donations down over 80 percent from neighboring countries in the first four months of 2020, said the report. 

It added that food imports to Yemen, which was already importing 90 percent of its food before the pandemic, were down 43 percent in March and 39 percent in April.

In June, the report said, Yemen had discovered more than 900 COVID-19 cases and recorded over 250 deaths, but those figures were likely to be underestimates due to the state of the country’s health-care services.


Turkey: EU sanctions on Turkish firm over Libya embargo show bias

Updated 22 September 2020

Turkey: EU sanctions on Turkish firm over Libya embargo show bias

  • The EU on Monday froze the assets of Avrasya Shipping
  • ‘EU’s Irini Operation is rewarding Haftar, and punishing the UN-recognized Libyan Government’

ISTANBUL: Turkey said on Tuesday the European Union sanctions on a Turkish firm accused of breaking a UN arms embargo on Libya displayed the EU’s double standard and biased stance.
The EU on Monday froze the assets of Avrasya Shipping, whose cargo vessel Cirkin was involved in a naval incident between NATO members France and Turkey in June.
The EU has accused the company of using the ship to smuggle weapons to Libya. Ankara denies the arms-trafficking claim and says the ship was carrying humanitarian aid.
“The EU’s Irini Operation is rewarding Haftar, and punishing the UN-recognized Libyan Government,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, referring to the EU’s military mission in the Mediterranean to stop arms from reaching warring factions in Libya.
Ankara has supported Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord based in Tripoli. Eastern Libya and much of the south, however, is controlled by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is backed by Egypt and Russia.
“Overlooking those countries and companies, starting with the UAE, that send weapons from land and air to the putschist Haftar in violation of the (United Nations Security Council) decisions, while the support provided to the legitimate government ... is deemed an embargo violation, is a clear signal that the EU is ... biased,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said.
In addition to sanctions on the Turkish company, the EU also imposed sanctions on two Libyan men, and two other companies – Kazakhstan’s Sigma Airlines and Jordan’s Med Wave Shipping.
Turkey may also face EU sanctions due to a dispute with Greece and Cyprus over ownership of natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, although tensions between Ankara and Athens have declined in recent days.
“When effort is being made to decrease the tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, taking such a wrong decision is unfortunate,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said, referring to the sanctions on Avrasya Shipping.