The Republic of Yemen is currently facing the worst humanitarian crisis in its history. According to the United Nations, ten million people—nearly 45% of Yemen’s population—are food-insecure, with five million Yemenis at risk of starvation. Only half of the population has access to clean water. Hundreds of thousands of children are unable to go to school because of violent conflicts, which have also displaced nearly half a million Yemenis from their homes.
On Thursday, September 27, the Friends of Yemen group—including the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and several other powerful nations—will meet in New York City to discuss Yemen’s current situation. Please join me in sending a message to the assembled world leaders and diplomats by 1) signing this petition, which urges the Friends of Yemen to fund the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen, and 2) by fasting or skipping lunch on September 27 to demonstrate your solidarity with those suffering in Yemen.
This petition is sponsored by the Yemen Peace Project. You can learn more about Yemen and the Hungry for Change campaign at www.yemenpeaceproject.org/hungryforchange/.
Support the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen
On Thursday, September 27, I will be fasting in solidarity with the people of Yemen, and I’m asking you to join me. Yemen is in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, and its people need the help of the international community to survive. When the Friends of Yemen group meets in New York on September 27, our fast will remind the assembled leaders that the people of Yemen are counting on their support.
The Friends of Yemen group is focused on a range of short- and long-term issues in Yemen, but for the 44% of Yemenis facing starvation, survival is the most urgent concern. In areas across the country, one third of all children are malnourished. 50% of Yemen’s citizens lack access to clean water. Half a million Yemenis have been displaced from their homes by violence, while a constant influx of foreign refugees places additional strain on a system already stretched beyond capacity.
The most recent United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen calls for $585 million to address the critical needs of the Yemeni people, and even this plan would only provide assistance to half of Yemen’s most vulnerable citizens. As of this month, the international community has provided less than 50% of the required amount.
The people of Yemen need action now. The international community must keep its promises in order to save the lives of millions of men, women, and children in one of the world’s most under-developed countries. Funding the UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan now will require only a fraction of the billions pledged by the Friends of Yemen and will deliver life-saving aid. Unless the urgent needs of the people are met, achieving the broader goals of security and stability will be impossible.
The international community understands that Yemen needs support, now more than ever. I hope your government will consider increasing humanitarian assistance to Yemen, and will urge other nations to fund the UN Humanitarian Response Plan. I also hope you’ll demonstrate your commitment to Yemen by joining our fast on September 27. The people of Yemen are depending on us.