Alert: Yemen needs urgent humanitarian support!

Malnourished boy Hassan Merzam Muhammad, lies on a bed at his house in Abs district of Hajjah province, Yemen 17 July 2020 - Reuters

IHRC is deeply concerned following the UN’s warning that the COVID-19 pandemic has massively exacerbated the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in Yemen as the Arab world’s poorest country faces a large-scale famine. Please visit the dedicated Yemen fundraising campaign to donate:  https://donations.ihrc.org.uk/Yemen

Background

Requested Action

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Recipient Addresses

Background

The ongoing war between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia has devastated Yemen. Since 2015 over 50,000 people have been killed, including many civilians, and the violence has destroyed the economy and vital infrastructure. The country is now on the brink of the world’s worst famine in over 100 years. According to UN estimates, more than 24 million people, around 80% of the population, require critical humanitarian assistance. This includes more than 12 million children who are malnourished. The global Covid-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc in some of the most industrialised and wealthiest nations is also ravaging an already shattered country. Yemen sees four times more deaths from the disease than the global average.

On Thursday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, briefed the Security Council that a second wave of COVID-19 infections has hit the population “with a new ferocity”. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, who also briefed the Council, stated that numbers have more than doubled in just six weeks:

“This second wave, of course, is coming at a time when large-scale famine is still bearing down on the country. Tens of thousands of people are already starving to death, with another five million just a step behind them,”

In March, a donor conference raised $1.7 billion in commitments for Yemen, less than half of what is needed for humanitarian operations this year. Mr Lowcock urged countries to step up. 

“Of the pledges that were made, about half have been paid,” he told the Council. 

“So, what that means is that today, the response plan is less than 25 per cent funded. So again, as I have said many times before, without more funding, millions of Yemenis will be staring down a death sentence before the year reaches its close.

Action required

  1. IHRC has been campaigning on behalf of Yemen’s people since 2015 when the country’s political and military crisis escalated. The Islamic Human Rights Commission Trust is seeking your donations to assist some of the most oppressed people who do not receive adequate aid. Please visit the dedicated Yemen fundraising campaign to donate:  https://donations.ihrc.org.uk/Yemen
  2. Write to the foreign ministers in your respective countries regarding the situation of the people of Yemen, urging them to take action. If your country sells arm to Saudi Arabia or support the Saudi war on Yemen, urge them to stop immediately.
  3. Forward any responses you receive to us on info@ihrc.org so we can develop this campaign further.
  4. Share this alert and the reports and resources, and encourage others to join this campaign.
  5. Please ensure you share verified stories and information. Despite this situation existing for many years, mainstream media has only given it importance now, often spreading unverified reports and cases. 

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[Your name]

[Your address]

[Date]

For the attention of [insert Foreign Minister’s name]

Dear Foreign Secretary,

The ongoing war between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia has devastated Yemen. Since 2015 over 50,000 people have been killed, including many civilians, and the violence has destroyed the economy and vital infrastructure. The global Covid-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc in some of the most industrialised and wealthiest nations is also ravaging an already shattered country. Yemen sees four times more deaths from the disease than the global average.

On Thursday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, briefed the Security Council that the second wave of COVID-19 infections has hit the population “with a new ferocity”. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, who also briefed the Council, stated that numbers have more than doubled in just six weeks:

“This second wave, of course, is coming at a time when large-scale famine is still bearing down on the country. Tens of thousands of people are already starving to death, with another five million just a step behind them,”

In March, a donor conference raised $1.7 billion in commitments for Yemen, less than half of what is needed for humanitarian operations this year. Mr Lowcock urged countries to step up. 

“Of the pledges that were made, about half have been paid,” he told the Council. 

“So what that means is that today, the response plan is less than 25 per cent funded. So again, as I have said many times before, without more funding, millions of Yemenis will be staring down a death sentence before the year reaches its close.”

Therefore, I strongly urge the British Government to immediately cease its support and arms sales to Saudi Arabia to stop this conflict. Further, I urge you to take the necessary humanitarian measures to ease the sufferings of the people of Yemen.

Yours sincerely,

[Your signature]

Your name

Recipient Addresses

Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs                         

fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk