More than 50 House Democrats submitted a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the Trump administration to restore aid to Yemen, where a civilian population is facing malnutrition caused by the US-backed Saudi-led war on the country.
The administration cut $73 million of aid to Yemen in March, citing Houthi obstruction. In the letter, the Democrats said this aid is more vital than ever because of the coronavirus pandemic, which the country is struggling to contain since the population lacks access to basic health services and clean water.
Government officials from the UK are also warning of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged members to increase aid to the war-torn country.
“The country has never looked more likely to slide into famine,” Raab said. “Unless donors urgently act now and follow through on their pledges, hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of dying simply from starvation.”
Aid cuts to Yemen have been severe this year, and it has caused the UN to reduce or shut down 75 percent of its programs in the country. The UN is pleading with Saudi Arabia and the UAE to deliver aid money they have already pledged. But so far, the UN has not received the money and is warning of a looming famine.
While the UN has not officially declared a famine, civilians in Yemen have been starving to death for years now, due mainly to the conditions caused by the US-Saudi war and blockade. In 2018, Save the Children published a report that said as many as 85,000 children under the age of five died of starvation in Yemen between April 2015 and October 2018.