REPS LIEU & CONYERS LEAD 52 MEMBER LETTER URGING TILLERSON TO USE DIPLOMACY TO REOPEN YEMEN PORT TO URGENT HUMANITARIAN AID
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) and Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) led 52 Members of Congress in sending a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to use all diplomatic tools to help open the Yemeni port of Hodeida to international humanitarian aid organizations to allow them to deliver critical food, fuel and medicine into northern Yemen. According to reports, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other aid organizations have had to halt aid deliveries in the absence of security guarantees from the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led Coalition, which is currently engaged in air raids in the vicinity of the port. Yemen is currently on the “brink of famine,” with nearly a half million children severely acutely malnourished and more than 7.3 million people in need of urgent food assistance.
Excerpts from the Letter:
“The Washington Post reports that ‘Hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children … are nearing starvation.’ Airstrikes by the Saudi-led Coalition (‘Coalition’) in Hodeida, the main entry point for food, medicine and humanitarian aid into northern Yemen, have made it virtually impossible for humanitarian agencies to deliver supplies. The UN and international aid agencies says that Yemen is ‘on the brink of famine.’ Half a million children are severely acutely malnourished. More than 7.3 million people are in need of urgent food assistance.”
“The ultimate resolution to Yemen’s civil war must be diplomatic, and the U.S. should be encouraging the warring parties to return to the negotiating table. But right now, the U.S. must act urgently to avert famine and employ our diplomatic clout with the Coalition members to ensure that humanitarian goods can get into the port of Hodeida. The lives of hundreds of thousands of children are at stake.”
FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE.