THE WORLD IS IN CRISIS AND NOT JUST FROM COVID-19

Vincent Lyn
5 min readJul 16, 2020

By Vincent Lyn

Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

As the world tries to deal with the effects of COVID-19, it’s taken so much of our attention and the medias away from all of the other shocking problems that are ongoing around the world.

The humanitarian toll is tearing apart countries like Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and East Africa. Ask yourself during this pandemic have you given it any thought. I’m sure for many of us the answer would be NO! I guess it’s understandable, as what’s going on over there doesn’t affect you. It’s kind of how we felt when the virus began in Wuhan, China back in December 2019. Many thought it was far and distant certainly in no way was it going to come to Europe or America and certainly in no way was it going to affect my life. How we were completely wrong!

Just to give you a snapshot of just a few things that stand out. Yemen is still the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Why does it hurt so much well simply because I was born there in a land that was once so beautiful and now so devastated. With more than 24 million people some 80% of the population need humanitarian assistance including 12 million children. Since March 2015 the country has become a living hell for the country’s children. The severity of the needs is deepening with the number of people in acute need, a staggering 27% higher than last year. Two-thirds of all districts in the country are already pre-famine, and one third face a convergence of multiple acute vulnerabilities.

After 10 years of continued war and displacement, Syrians are also now facing unprecedented levels of hunger leaving millions of people acutely vulnerable to COVID-19. The collapse of the Syrian pound, and the displacement of millions of people have led to an unprecedented number of families in Syria who are no longer able to put food on the table or make enough money to afford basic necessities. A staggering 9.3 million Syrians are now going to sleep hungry and more than 2 million are at risk of a similar fate, part of an overall rise of 42% in the number of Syrians facing food insecurity since last year. Why does it hurt so much because not only is it the cradle of civilization but even with so much death and destruction it is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever visited and made more wonderful by the friends I have there.

The most serious locust outbreak in 70 years is threatening famine in East Africa. We in the West hear of such things and think Biblical stories but you wouldn’t even be close to the devastation wrought by locusts. Their seemingly bottomless appetites, locusts can cause devastating agricultural losses. An adult desert locust can munch through its own bodyweight, about 0.07 ounces of vegetation every day. Swarms can swell to 70 billion insects, enough to blanket New York City more than once and can destroy 300 million pounds of crops in a single day. Even a more moderate gathering of locusts can eat as much as 35,000 people. Currently it’s the worst upsurge the category of intensity just below plague of desert locusts experienced in Ethiopia and Somalia for 25 years and Kenya for 70 years. The United Nations estimates up to 25 million East Africans will suffer from food shortages later this year.

Migrants are still drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, which remains the most dangerous crossing in the world. The question that needs to be asked, people are still drowning at sea and why aren’t we saving them? Eighty-three migrants drowned on July 3 when their boat sank in the Mediterranean off the coast of Tunisia. They were attempting to reach Europe in order to seek asylum. In the past three years, almost 7,000 people have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean, and 30,000 more have been rescued at sea. Currently, most migrants rescued at sea are sent to Libya as most European nations no longer want them and turn the small boats away. Libya is a country in the midst of a civil war. There have been documented reports of sexual violence, exploitation and malnutrition in migrant detention camps. Fifty-three migrants, including six children, were recently killed when the Tajoura detention center near Tripoli was bombed.

Almost 30,000 asylum-seekers are trapped in camps made for 6,000 on the Greek islands. The situation has gotten so terrible Germany’s interior minister dispatched one helicopter and twenty police officers to boost the guarding of the Greek-Turkish border where as many as 30,000 were prevented from illegal entry. Many of the asylum-seekers have come from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria escaping the conflicts in all three countries.

It’s difficult to think about such horrors elsewhere when the entire world is trying its best to contain a pandemic that is very well spiraling out of control in some countries. We are all struggling but remember its important not to forget that there are many people and families whose situation is much worse. I speak with my friends in Syria who have dealt with war for a decade and now are suffering again from food insecurity. Remember we are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love, and then we return home. We all need to take a moment and step back, take a deep breath and smile and help your neighbor, black, white, brown, yellow we are all the same just small changes in the pigments of our skin. We will be all judged by future generations of our present actions. How will you be judged and what will mankind say about you?

Vincent Lyn

CEO/Founder at We can Save Children

Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization

Economic & Social Council at United Nations

Middle East Correspondent at Wall Street News Agency

Rescue & Recovery Specialist t International Confederation of Police & Security Experts

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Vincent Lyn

CEO-We Can Save Children. Director Creative Development-African Views Organization, ECOSOC at United Nations. International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)