Refugees International calls on the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen and on the United States government to do everything in their power to open entry points into Yemen and not just allow but facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. While urgent warnings predict that the Saudi blockade will have immediate and devastating consequences for millions of Yemeni civilians, thousands of men, women, and children are already dying of disease, hunger, and the ongoing conflict. Humanitarian aid has arguably never been more desperately needed, or more thoroughly blocked. And this in a country where about 75 percent of the total population—more than 20 million people—need humanitarian aid to survive.
Humanitarian assistance in Yemen has already been greatly reduced by the insecurity of the past two and a half years, which prevents many organizations from operating safely. The remaining aid groups have repeatedly urged unimpeded access for aid workers and supplies, but with few results. This morning, the United Nations warned that, if the Yemen blockade continues, “It will be the largest famine the world has seen for many decades.”
“It is entirely within the coalition’s power to allow humanitarian assistance into Yemen and to save literally millions of lives,” said Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International. “It is also the obligation of the United States to use its diplomatic strength to help make this happen. Humanitarian aid will not solve the crisis in Yemen, but lack of humanitarian aid will make it much worse.”