August 9, 2017

Young Calls for Action after UN Security Council Passes Statement on Four Famines

Washington, D.C. — Today, following Senator Todd Young’s (R-IN) efforts to promote a diplomatic surge to address the humanitarian crises in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and northeast Nigeria, the United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously passed a statement on the humanitarian crises in these four countries.  

The statement calls on all parties to respect international humanitarian law and permit unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to all areas.  As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Young has advocated for these priorities through hearings, letters, and legislation. 

Young said, “I applaud the UN Security Council’s unanimous passage of a presidential statement today regarding the ‘four famines’.  To varying degrees, these humanitarian crises are man-made and preventable and all governments and armed groups involved—including Saudi Arabia—must stop impeding humanitarian assistance that is needed to save thousands of lives.”  Young continued, “Today’s vote in the UN Security Council is a significant and positive step, but now we must see tangible steps to put its words into action.”

In her statement today, Ambassador Nikki Haley said, “Famine is an issue of peace and security. With the adoption of this statement, the Security Council has finally acknowledged the clear link between conflict and famine. This is a man-made crisis, and people are dying of hunger because of man-made ‎conflict. The Security Council must continue to demand access to ‎food and other life-saving supplies and services for ‎these vulnerable areas, and we must hold governments and armed groups blocking access accountable.”

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

On April 5, Senators Young and Cardin introduced a resolution calling for an urgent and comprehensive diplomatic effort to address political obstacles in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen that are preventing humanitarian aid from being delivered to people who desperately need it.  The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed this resolution on May 25.   

On March 23, Senators Young and Cardin delivered a letter to Secretary Tillerson regarding the humanitarian crises in these regions. To read the full text of their letter to the Secretary, click here.