By Marcus Skinner and Laurence Gerhardt
The war in Yemen has turned the country into the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. A crisis that is man-made and predictable, and therefore one for which solutions are within reach. For nearly half a decade, the international community has held the country’s increasingly vulnerable population back from the brink of catastrophe with lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Aid saves lives, but to address the factors which continue to drive the suffering of Yemeni civilians demands an urgent acceleration of efforts to reduce violence and secure peace.
This report argues that efforts to resolve the war in Yemen are at a vital inflection point. It demonstrates the catastrophic impact that failing to turn the positive signs for peace into actual commitments will have on Yemenis, using food insecurity and hunger as an illustration of the suffering faced on a daily basis by millions of civilians. It concludes with the following recommendations:
International supporters of the warring parties, including the UK, U.S. and France should use all diplomatic tools to incentivise and/or pressure the parties to launch an immediate nationwide ceasefire and return to inclusive, meaningful peace talks.
Permanent and elected members of the U.N. Security Council should be prepared to reinforce the efforts of the U.N. Special Envoy and use all opportunities to call for peace.
International donors should maintain pressure on the Ansar Allah (Houthi) authorities and the Internationally Recognised Government to lift all humanitarian access restrictions and ensure all air and seaports are open and fully functional.
In 2020 and moving forward, international donors including those from the Gulf, should maintain funding levels, deliver on their funding commitments in a timely manner, and continue to channel their contributions through the U.N. appeal.
The Internationally Recognised Government, Ansar Allah and international donors, should take steps to address Yemen’s economic collapse and support Yemen’s future recovery.
All warring parties, and the international community, should make a clear commitment to the protection of international law, and pursuing accountability for violations of it.