TD calling for dairy farmers to donate milk to Yemen famine relief efforts

TD Jackie Cahill is appealing to Irish dairy farmers to donate one day’s milk to famine relief efforts in Yemen.

The Tipperary TD has issued his appeal after hearing Mike McGann, a dairy farmer from Co. Longford, who spoke on CountryWide (RTÉ Radio 1) this weekend about how he’s trying to help people in the country of Yemen as they continue to live during a famine alongside the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I listened as Mike spoke of a parent in Yemen who is feeding his sick child water and sugar every day in a desperate attempt to keep her alive, as a result of a shocking lack of access to food supplies,” deputy Cahill said.

“He suggested that if every dairy farmer were to donate 30L of milk, this could go someway to alleviating the immediate threat to the Yemeni people.

If over 500,000L of milk could be made available to the famine relief efforts, Irish farmers would be standing in solidarity with the people of Yemen when they need it most, providing a powdered product full of nutrition.

“This could save many lives. Parents such as the one that Mike spoke about feeding their children water and sugar need access to such supplies, and this is our chance as a farming community to make a difference to peoples’ lives.”

Humanitarian crisis in Yemen

Yemen has been devastated by a civil war, which began in 2014. According to UNICEF, it is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

With Covid-19 spreading rapidly, Yemen is “facing an emergency within an emergency”, UNICEF says. Sanitation and clean water are in short supply, with economic shocks, conflict, floods and desert locusts creating a “perfect storm” that could reverse “hard-earned food security gains”.