ASIA/YEMEN - Apostolic Vicar Hinder: "Poverty has increased with war: Christians give hope for a better life"

Saturday, 14 November 2020 world day of the poor   poverty   solidarity  

Sana'a (Agenzia Fides) - "The situation in Yemen is catastrophic. With the continuation of the conflict, the problem of poverty has worsened: there is hunger, there is a shortage of food, prices have risen due to the high rate of inflation. In addition, cholera and the lack of water afflict the population", said Mgr. Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of South Arabia to Fides on the occasion of World Day of the Poor, which the Church celebrates on Sunday 15 November, about the dramatic situation in which the Arab country finds itself.
The war in Yemen has so far caused over 120,000 deaths, but the entire population across the Arabian Peninsula is suffering the economic impact. In particular, the Bishop's attention focuses on the difficulties of the small Christian minority: "The number of Christians" - he says - in relation to the general situation of migrants, "will decrease in the future as a result of massive emigration, because the economic situation will have consequences: many people have lost their jobs. This means that sooner or later they will leave the country and it will inevitably be a severe blow to the whole community".
"Reach out your hand to the poor" (Sir 7:32) is the theme that the Pope has proposed this year to all those who are baptized and of good will: "Our
support for the Yemeni people - reports the Apostolic Vicar - is preaching and also solidarity, especially towards the weak, the poor, and the abandoned. We try to understand their needs and to help them in the best possible way". In San’a, the missionaries also offer free care to the sick and assistance to the most needy: "The Missionary Sisters of Charity - says Mgr. Hider – carry out a very important service, their work arouses sympathy and affection among the people. It is a sign of closeness for these people when we give them a smile and the hope of a better life".
The challenges that Yemen faces to improve the living conditions of its people are still many. According to the latest report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Yemen will become the poorest country in the world if the conflict lasts until 2022. The Report notes that the war has led to the collapse of the economy, with the loss of economic activities worth 89 billion dollars since 2015. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has plunged from $ 3,577 to $ 1,950. It also appears that 25% of the population was malnourished in 2014, but this figure is now close to 36% and could reach almost 50% in a short space of time . "The problem, very often - explains Mgr. The Bishop – is how to get help from abroad. Referring to the Pope's Message for the World Day of the Poor, the Apostolic Vicar stressed: "Helping those most in need is an investment that pays off both for those who give and for those who receive - he concludes - and with patience bears its fruits". (ES) (Agenzia Fides, 13/11/2020)