Europeans have forgotten about the growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen because they don’t feel like the conflict affects them, an NGO director working in the country has told The Independent.
Giorgio Trombatore, Yemen country director for the International Medical Corps, said the famine fails to get the same attention as the armed conflicts across the Middle East, particularly Syria.
"I think one of the reasons might be the fact people are not directly reaching European seashores," Mr Trombatore said. "It seems more disconnected from what is happening in Europe.
"Half the country is now suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition, and this is something that could have been prevented."
A recent YouGov poll found only 49 per cent of the British public knew of Yemen's ongoing civil war, a figure that was even lower in the 18 to 24 age group, where only 37 per cent were aware of the conflict.
Mr Trombatore told The Independent the famine situation is getting worse and there is currently little hope for improvement.
"I expect the situation to deteriorate more," Mr Trombatore he said. "People here are coping with massive problems.
"The war is still ongoing. The bombing is still going on. There's a shortage of food and medication."
The situation in Yemen
The situation in Yemen
Houthi supporters trample on a US flag during a gathering mobilizing more fighters into several Yemeni battlefronts, in Sana'a, Yemen
People carry the coffins of men, who were killed in the recent Saudi-led airstrikes during their funeral, in the Old City of Sanaa, Yemen
Pro-government fighters give food to Yemeni children on the road leading to the southwestern port city of Mokha. Yemeni rebels are putting up fierce resistance in a key Red Sea port city where they are encircled by pro-government force
A Yemeni stands in front of a graffiti protesting US military operations in war-affected Yemen, in Sana'a, Yemen. According to reports, US Special Forces troops allegedly disembarked from US helicopters in the Yemeni town of Yakla and attacked several houses belonging to members of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, killing three high-ranking Al-Qaeda members and nine civilians, six women and three children. One American serviceman has been killed and three injured in the attack
US Special Forces troops allegedly disembarked from US helicopters in the Yemeni town of Yakla and attacked several houses belonging to members of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, killing three high-ranking Al-Qaeda members and nine civilians, six women and three children. One American serviceman has been killed and three injured in the attack
A Yemeni female fighter supporting the Shiite Huthi rebels, and carrying weapons used for ceremonial purposes, takes part in an anti-Saudi rally in the capital Sanaa
Yemeni female fighters supporting the Shiite Huthi rebels, and carrying weapons used for ceremonial purposes, take part in an anti-Saudi rally in the capital Sanaa
A boy shouts slogans next to pro-Houthi fighters, who have been injured during recent fighting, during a rally held to honour those injured or maimed while fighting in Houthi ranks in Sanaa, Yemen
Balls of fire and smoke rise from a Houthi-held military camp following alleged Saudi-led airstrikes, in Sana'a, Yemen
Yemenis search under the rubble of damaged houses following reported Saudi-led coalition air strikes on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital Sanaa
A Yemeni boy looks on as Yemenis search under the rubble of damaged houses following reported Saudi-led coalition air strikes on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital Sanaa
A Yemeni boy sits amidst the rubble of damaged houses following reported Saudi-led coalition air strikes on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital Sanaa
Marine One with US President Donald Trump flies with a decoy and support helicopters to Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, for the dignified transfer of Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer William 'Ryan' Owens who was killed in Yemen
US President Donald Trump aboard the Marine One to greet the remains of a US military commando killed during a raid on the al Qaeda militant group in southern Yemen on Sunday, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, US
The International Medical Corps warned as many as 460,000 children face severe malnutrition in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest nation which has been engulfed in three years of civil war.
Overall, 14.1 million people are food insecure while seven million people are considered severely food insecure.
Mr Trombatore described seeing people waiting near restaurants to ask if they could eat the scraps from diners plates.
"You can see these people are even dressed well, they never did this before. They are simply hungry and are probably displaced people," he said. "They are not beggars. They are not people who usually live like this. They are the result of the war."
He also said he had visited hospitals where he was shown malnourished children and adults, which he described as "very painful to see."
"The situation will definitely deteriorate because there are no signs for improvement," he added. "No signs for improvement at all."
He urged people to help, either through raising money or pressuring the Saudi-led coalition to allow increased access for first aid, drugs or medicine.
The Saudi-led coalition has imposed an air and naval blockade on Yemen, imposing strict restrictions on what can and cannot be brought into the country and causing delays to aid deliveries, the UN has said.
Mr Trombatore added: "As long as this is brought up to any international level, these kind of things make pressure. So as long as people are silent and no one is talking about it, the crime continues."
The UK is the fourth largest aid donor to Yemen, committing £103m in humanitarian aid in the last year.Reuse content