10.24.22

Statement On The Forgotten Humanitarian Crisis In Yemen

At a time when much of the world’s attention is understandably focused on the ongoing catastrophe and horrific war crimes in Ukraine, the humanitarian situation in Yemen remains precarious.  After a half-year truce between Houthi rebels and Yemeni government and coalition forces significantly eased the risk of mass starvation and opened the possibility for negotiations to end the armed conflict, there is a renewed possibility of a return to war.  Whether the parties will seize this opportunity for lasting peace, or reignite an unwinnable conflict that has produced nothing but misery and loss for millions of innocent impoverished people, will depend on leadership and a willingness to compromise that has been in short supply.

In the meantime, every month scores of Yemenis are being killed and maimed from landmines and other unexploded munitions.  Farmers, children, any unsuspecting person who steps in the wrong place can suddenly lose a limb or their life.  The United States, the largest contributor to humanitarian demining worldwide, should urgently increase its support for demining organizations in Yemen.  The Congress has provided additional funding for this purpose. 

Yemen is a failed state where basic services are far beyond reach for most people.  The assistance provided by nongovernmental organizations makes the difference between life and death for millions of people, but they are not a substitute for governments and multilateral agencies. 

The United States should declare unequivocally that it will no longer support, in any manner, Saudi Arabia’s failed air war in Yemen which has been notable for its indiscriminate cruelty, and ensure that Yemen is a priority for the use of emergency humanitarian funds appropriated by Congress.

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