May 5, 2017

Young Continues to Press Saudi Government on Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

Washington, D.C. – Continuing his efforts to help address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Senator Todd Young attended a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting yesterday with Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir and pressed the Saudi government to take specific steps to prevent more Yemenis from starving. This meeting follows a Young-led letter last week to the Saudi government.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Yemen has almost 19 million people in need of humanitarian or protection assistance, including more than 10 million people who require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives. The UN calls Yemen the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

Today, Young issued the following statement:

“I am grateful to the Saudi Foreign Minister for meeting with the committee and engaging in an extended discussion with me about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and the specific steps the Saudis should take to help alleviate it. While I appreciate the Saudi government’s cooperation on some important security challenges and our two countries confront many common threats like Iran, I remain unsatisfied with the response of the Saudi government related to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition has unnecessarily delayed desperately needed humanitarian shipments to Yemen and refused to permit the delivery of much-needed U.S. funded cranes to the port of Hodeidah that would permit the quicker delivery of food and medicine.

As President Trump prepares to visit Saudi Arabia later this month, I urge the Saudi government to renounce any intention to conduct a military operation against the port of Hodeidah, redouble efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution, and end any delays to the delivery of humanitarian aid caused by the Saudi-led coalition. With more than 10 million Yemenis requiring immediate humanitarian assistance, there is no time to waste.”

According to Save the Children, “In just the first two months of this year, the Saudi-led coalition prevented three of the charity’s shipments of life-saving medical supplies from landing at the country’s main port of Hodeida, forcing them to be rerouted and delaying their arrival by up to three months.”

This latest effort from Senator Young follows aMarch 23rdletter he sentto Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Ranking Member Cardin (D-MD) and others urging action to address humanitarian crises in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. On April 5, Senator Youngintroduced a resolutioncalling for an urgent and comprehensive diplomatic effort to address political obstacles that are preventing humanitarian aid from reaching people who desperately need it in those four countries, including Yemen.