WASHINGTON: Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State on Monday addressed the high-level pledging event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen.
During the ceremony, Secretary of State commented that the humanitarian crisis taking place in Yemen is the largest and most urgent in the world. Twenty million people, including millions of children, desperately need help, he added.
He also emphasized that United States is committed to doing our part, both to provide aid and to help address the obstacles standing in the way of humanitarian access.
Secretary of State also announced nearly $191 million in additional humanitarian assistance from the United States to Yemen, he also mentioned that bringing our Fiscal Year 2021 funding up to more than $350 million. In total, the United States has provided more than 3.4 billion in aid to the Yemeni people since the crisis began six years ago, he said.
Moreover, Secretary of State Blinken also remarked that this funding supports our partners in delivering assistance that is needed immediately, including food, protection, education, shelter, health, water, sanitation, and the prevention and treatment of severe malnutrition. It also goes to longer-term humanitarian need, like the rehabilitation of water systems, the repair of critical roads, and support to help families earn incomes, he said.
While praising the international community for help, he said that ‘I commend the generous pledges made by other donors’ he said, now; we need others – especially those in the region – to step up.
The scale of this emergency can be addressed only through a sustained and coordinated effort by a broad range of donors, UN agencies, and NGOs, Blinken stated and also underscored that we must act fast, because the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are making the humanitarian crisis even worse, Secretary of State mentioned.
Regarding the work of aid workers, he added that the courageous aid workers who are risking their lives to help bring to those – to help bring assistance to those who need it. All parties across northern and southern Yemen must cease interference in aid operations and allow assistance to reach the innocent women, children, and men who have borne the brunt of this crisis, he mentioned.
We also call on all parties to allow the unhindered import and distribution of fuel. Fuel shortages like the one happening now only worsen the humanitarian situation, Blinken stressed.
During his address he also mentioned that while aid can help lessen suffering and mitigate the desperation that often fuels conflicts, aid alone will not end the conflict, adding that we can only end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by ending the war in Yemen and so the United States is reinvigorating our diplomatic efforts to end the war.
Secretary of State also emphasized on the role of international institutions stating that, we’ve listened to the concerns from the United Nations, from humanitarian groups, and members of Congress, and we are committed to putting the well-being of the Yemeni people at the forefront of our policy while continuing to put pressure on the leaders of Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, he added.
Secretary of Stated also called on the Houthis to cease their cross-border attacks and military offensives that prolong this war, saying that we support the UN-led process and UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in their efforts to establish a ceasefire, increase humanitarian access, and resume peace talks and we call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and cease attacks on civilians, Blinken remarked.
As you may know, I recently appointed a U.S. special envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking. He reports that the Saudis and the Republic of Yemen Government are committed and eager to find a solution to the conflict, he mentioned.
Regarding peaceful resolution of the conflict, he added that we call on the Houthis to match this commitment. A necessary first step is to stop their offensive against Marib, a city where a million internally displaced people live, and to join the Saudis and the government in Yemen in making constructive moves toward peace, Blinken commented.
Secretary of State also reiterated saying that we support the UN-led process to establish a ceasefire, we’re committed to increasing humanitarian access and we insist that violations against civilians cease, he said.
While concluding his remarks, Blinken expressed his views saying that, we are hopeful for the speedy resumption of peace talks aimed at finally bringing an end to this conflict. The time is now to make this push and bring about a more stable, prosperous Yemen whose citizens will be able to rebuild their lives and – at long last – have hope in a better future, he concluded.