Statement by Mohamed Abdi, Yemen country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, as political consultations on Yemen commence in Stockholm
“As humanitarian staff delivering food, water and medicine to millions of people who would die without it, we are typically too consumed dealing with the consequences of this war to closely observe what is being done to bring it to an end.
This week though, as political negotiations take place in Stockholm, we are watching. We have been watching, encouraged, as the parties to the conflict honour commitments to attend, and we will be watching as they engage in UN-led discussions on the steps towards peace.
If the consultations proceed positively, we will see an immediate change for people in Yemen. We will see fewer people hit by and fleeing violence, fewer people pushed to the most desperate means of staying alive. Equally, if the consultations fail, or stall, so too will hopes of halting Yemen’s steady descent into hell. We will be forced to watch on as a population is suffocated by violence, hunger and grief.
Yemen needs an immediate ceasefire and concrete steps to restore public services. Parties to the conflict must agree ways to reopen all ports and stabilise the nation’s collapsing economy, while facilitating full and unfettered access for people in need of humanitarian aid. As parties to the conflict in Yemen sit down at the table this week, we urge them to look as closely as we do at the humanitarian implications of this war.”