December 6, 2017

Young Applauds Trump Statement and Again Calls for End to Saudi Starvation Blockade in Yemen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Trump issued a statement today calling on Saudi Arabia to “completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it.” The President continued, “This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately.” Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) has led efforts in the Senate to end Saudi Arabia’s starvation blockade of Yemen. Saudi Arabia’s blockade has helped create the world’s largest food insecurity crisis in Yemen and pushed millions to the verge of starvation. 

“I applaud President Trump for calling on the Saudis to end their starvation blockade of Yemen, and I stand with the President and my bipartisan colleagues in Congress in renewing my demand that the Saudis immediately end all impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Yemen. The President’s statement today is in the best tradition of American international leadership, strength, and moral clarity. Saudi Arabia’s actions are a violation of international law, humanitarian principles, and U.S. law, and are inconsistent with U.S. national security interests. If the Saudis fail to permit the delivery of the U.S. taxpayer funded cranes to Yemen’s most important humanitarian port and continue to block the delivery of commercial fuel shipments, I will work with the administration and my bipartisan colleagues in Congress to take additional action,” said Senator Young, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Yesterday, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green issued a statement, calling Yemen “the largest food security emergency and the worst cholera outbreak in the world.” Green said, “The continued flow of commercial goods to Yemen and within the country is a humanitarian imperative, as the country imports 90 percent of its food, and most of its fuel and medicines. All parties must enable the unfettered and increased flow of commercial goods and fuel from all ports of entry to reach nearly 21 million people in need.”

On November 16, Young issued a statement saying, “Each day that Saudi Arabia continues its humanitarian blockade of Yemen worsens the world’s largest humanitarian crisis and results in countless preventable deaths from lack of food, fuel, and medicine… Our Saudi partners certainly have a right to defend themselves, but they can and should do so without depriving millions of innocent people of life-saving humanitarian assistance.”

On July 18, Young chaired a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing entitled, “‘The Four Famines’:  Root Causes and a Multilateral Action Plan”

In April, Young and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a bipartisan resolution calling for an urgent and comprehensive diplomatic effort to address political obstacles that are preventing humanitarian aid from being delivered to tens of millions of people who desperately need it. The resolution calls on all parties to the conflicts to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need. The Senate passed the resolution in September. 

In March, Young led a bipartisan letter to Secretary Tillerson calling for an urgent diplomatic campaign to end impediments to humanitarian assistance and prevent millions from starving to death. Young hand-delivered the letter to Secretary Tillerson.