On Monday 30 March, all fighting groups in Yemen agreed to a nationwide ceasefire due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen carried out several air strikes on Monday on the capital Sanaa, in retaliation for two ballistic missiles fired at Riyadh on Saturday, which were intercepted. More than five years of conflict have devastated the lives of tens of millions of Yemenis - with an estimated 100,000 people killed, including 12,000 civilians; and as many as 85,000 deaths from war-induced famine. According to the WHO, a coronavirus outbreak would break the country's collapsing healthcare infrastructure - an already catastrophic humanitarian disaster will get worse. Millions of Yemenis, especially children, are seriously malnourished and very vulnerable.
As more and more people come under lockdown with governments trying to curtail the spread of coronavirus, many have become entirely consumed by their, and their family's needs, and very little thought, let alone action, is given to other peoples' suffering elsewhere in the world. Many have expressed tremendous sympathy and solidarity with countries such as Italy and Spain, which has been heavily impacted by the virus. However, few give a nation like Yemen a second thought. The Church in Yemen is small. It cannot fight this battle alone. It needs the larger Body of Christ--now more than ever.
Pray for the following:
- For the coronavirus crisis to be a catalyst towards a lasting ceasefire
- For the international body of Christ to find effective ways to help all Yemenis
- For the Church in Yemen to be encouraged by the actions and prayers of their brothers and sisters around the world