It’s a far-away, poor country with few linkages to Canada. So it’s no surprise Yemen hasn’t made much of a dent in Canadian news recently, nor has it been a hot topic for politicians. But it’s a country Canada should care about. Yemen’s people have endured one crisis after another for years. Bordered by regional power Saudi Arabia, with fragile states Somalia and Eritrea across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East. Historical tensions between the country’s North and South make for a fragile state. Throw in a government that fell during Arab Spring protests in 2011, and the instability has led the country of around 26 million people to become a base for groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. On top of that, you have the current crisis. In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition started bombing the country to force from power Houthi rebels, which it perceived to be supported by rival regional power Iran. Western players including Canada have largely stayed out of the mess, saying very little about how the crisis should be resolved. But it’s time that Canada speak up, if only for the sake of Yemen’s people. The conflict has led to a food shortage, with the World Food Programme estimating that 17 million people are food insecure. Poverty, war damage, and a naval blockade by the Saudi-led coalition have all led to the lack of food and malnutrition facing many Yemenis. And if things couldn’t get any worse, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen told reporters earlier this month that unless the international community ponies up $200-million, the UN humanitarian branch will be forced to move resources tagged for malnutrition to a growing cholera outbreak in Yemen. There were more than 313,000 cases of suspected cholera, and more than 1,700 deaths. So what should Canada do? Give money, for one. The UN says it “has received only one-third of the $2.1-billion it sought to provide food to the millions people facing famine in Yemen; separately, a $250-million funding appeal on cholera received only $47-million.” In March, International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Canada would give $119.25-million to help ease the food crises in Yemen as well as South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria. She also announced the government would match citizen donations to aid agencies. The cholera outbreak is more recent, and deserves immediate Canadian attention. But aside from treating these symptoms, Canada must get at the root of the current problems in Yemen by doing as much as it can to promote a political solution to the problems in Yemen. It should speak forcefully to Saudi Arabia, an apparent ally, about the dire humanitarian effects of its bombing campaign. Canada may not have a lot of influence in the region, but it can work with allies that do.