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On the 8th anniversary of its civil war, Yemen named the worst humanitarian crisis in the world

A photo taken on March 18, 2018, shows a Yemeni child looking out at buildings that were damaged in an air strike in the southern Yemeni city of Taez. (Ahmad Al-Basha/AFP via Getty Images)
A photo taken on March 18, 2018, shows a Yemeni child looking out at buildings that were damaged in an air strike in the southern Yemeni city of Taez. (Ahmad Al-Basha/AFP via Getty Images)

An important anniversary went by this weekend, mostly unnoticed. March 25 marked 8 years of civil war in Yemen. It started when Iran-backed Shiite Houthi insurgents took control of the capital, overthrowing the largely Sunni government.

It soon became a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia — the U.S. supplying arms and intel, though American involvement began more than a decade earlier with counter-terrorism efforts (including training Yemeni commandos, and by 2012, embedding with Yemeni forces).

Today, Yemen is considered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 230,000 deaths, most from starvation and preventable diseases. Yet with all eyes on Russia’s war on Ukraine and earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, Yemen has been largely forgotten.

Médecins Sans Frontières’ international president Christos Christou talks to host Robin Young about the humanitarian crisis.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.