2019 Photo Contest, General News, Stories, 1st Prize

Yemen Crisis

Photographer

Lorenzo Tugnoli

Contrasto, for The Washington Post

21 May, 2018

Taif Fares gasps for air in the intensive-care unit at al-Sadaqa hospital, Aden, Yemen. She had a heart disorder and required constant care. Supplies of oxygen and medicine to the hospital had been discontinued, and, on 14 May, a violent confrontation between a member of the militia controlling the hospital and a doctor had led to doctors going on strike. Taif died a few days after the photograph was taken.

After nearly four years of conflict in Yemen, at least 8.4 million people are at risk of starvation and 22 million people—75% of the population—are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. In 2014, Houthi Shia Muslim rebels seized northern areas of the country, forcing the president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, into exile. The conflict spread, and escalated when Saudi Arabia, in coalition with eight other mostly Sunni Arab states, began air strikes against the Houthis. By 2018, the war had led to what the UN termed the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster. Saudi Arabia said that Iran—a Shia-majority state and their rival regional power—was backing the Houthis with weapons and supplies, a charge Iran denied. The Saudi-led coalition implemented a blockade on Yemen, imposing import restrictions on food, medicines and fuel. Resulting shortages exacerbated the humanitarian crisis. In many cases, conditions of near-famine were caused not so much by the unavailability of food, but because it became unaffordable, priced out of reach to most Yemenis by import restrictions, soaring transport costs due to fuel scarcity, a collapsing currency and other man-made supply disruptions. 

About

Lorenzo Tugnoli

Lorenzo Tugnoli, born in Italy in 1979, is a photographer based in Beirut. His work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Newsweek, Time...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/80
Focal length
35 mm
F-Stop
f/4.5
ISO
1600

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