Stephen O’Brien, under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator for the United Nations, stated, “The largest humanitarian crisis is in Yemen, where two-thirds of the population—18.8 million people—needs aid and more than 7 million people are hungry and do not know where their next meal will come from” (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/famine-united-nations-170310234132946.html).
The population of Yemen is 27.58 million. According to a local humanitarian source, the relief effort for Yemen is dismal. Christians and non-Christians alike are not putting forward the funds needed to really make a big difference. The source stated that part of the lack of funds is due to the miniscule amount of media attention Yemen is receiving from the outside.
Now that we have some facts, let’s put this into perspective:
- The biggest city in America is New York City.
- According to uspopulation2017.com, New York City has a population of 8.652 million people.
- If we were to take all the malnourished and people in need of aid from Yemen and put them in an empty New York City, the city would triple in population with another more than 1.6 million people to spare.
Those numbers literally make me sick. Why is this not in the news more? Who knows, but is that really the question we should be asking as Christians? When I heard the humanitarian resource say that people sometimes want to donate funds to Yemen but designate that the funds should only be used for Christians, my heart sank.
I thought of the story Jesus told about the Good Samaritan. In this story, He describes how the lowly Samaritan helped a man beaten on the side of the road while several respected and religious people walked by and moved to the other side of the road because the man was lowly.
A coworker put it this way: “That’s like donating bottles of water to the hurricane victims in Texas and saying those are only for churchgoers.” How ridiculous! Where is the heart and love of God in that?
What can we do? Despite our differences, how can we serve the body of Christ and those in Yemen who do not yet know Christ but are in desperate need of help?
ACT: World Gospel Mission has a special fund to help those suffering and starving in Yemen. Visit www.wgm.org/yemen-relief to donate to the relief efforts in Yemen. Please also pray that hearts will be stirred and attitudes will be change in the Christian community so that this large, suffering population does not continue to go unnoticed.